Netwatch reports 26% increase in criminal activity over Halloween 2013

Netwatch, Ireland’s leading high tech security specialists, is warning businesses to remain vigilant as to the security of their premises as the number of criminal incidents is set to spike over Halloween.

In 2013, there was a 26% increase in incidents of criminal activity over the Halloween period with young people stealing tyres, pallets and other materials for Halloween bonfires a particular issue.

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“Bank holidays and other holiday celebrations are typically busy times for criminal activity. But in additional to the normal increase in incidents reported over bank holiday weekends, Halloween poses the additional threat of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage,” said David Walsh, CEO of Netwatch Ireland.

This year, Halloween night falls on a Friday, a particular target for criminals. According to Netwatch’s Half Year Crime Report, 8pm to 11pm is the most common time for incidents to occur.

“While we expect Halloween night to be particularly busy, the preceding 24 hour period will also witness heightened activity with opportunistic young people attempting to source last minute items for bonfires. In many cases, the monetary value of items stolen is quite low but the main concern for improperly secured businesses is the increased risk of property damage. Over the years, Netwatch has recorded incidents of broken locks and gates, damaged lighting, smashed windows and several incidents of fires being lit at premises.”

According to a recent study of business owners and senior decisions makers carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of Netwatch,  a fifth of businesses had suffered break-ins in the previous 12 months. Of those who had suffered a break in, 48% had suffered stock damage, while 20% reported equipment damage.

Top tips from Netwatch to protect your business this Halloween are:

  • Check your perimeter fencing and ensure all gates and locks are properly secured.
  • Ensure all intruder alarms are working correctly and make sure you switch on the alarm every time you leave your property unoccupied.
  • Protect and secure all loose materials, including tyres and pallets and anything that could be used for bonfire fuel.
  • A well lit area will deter most criminals from vandals to thieves. Check all your external lights to make sure they are working correctly and leave internal lights on a timer if you are leaving your home or business unoccupied for any length of time.
  • Contact your security provider to ensure that your list of contacts and key holders are up to date.
  • Be contactable – have your mobile phone turned on and make sure you have signal. There is always a lot of pressure on Emergency services around this time of year.  In the case of an incident you may need to be contacted to visit your site and assist the Garda.

Intervention specialists, Netwatch monitor in excess of 33,000 security cameras at both commercial and residential sites across the globe from its Communications Hub in Carlow. The company currently deploys advanced video processing technologies to more than 2,500 businesses throughout Ireland including retail, warehousing, logistics, construction, multinational companies as well as energy generation sites.