Yet another first was recorded last night in Co. Monaghan, when James O Neill from newly launched charity Property Marking Ireland came up to Monaghan Community Safety Network’s summer meeting to deliver the first road signs to communities which have completed property marking campaigns in their areas.
Oram Mullyash, Kilmore Swanns Cross, Clones and Mullaghmatt all took possession of brand new signs, which warn would-be thieves that possessions in the area are marked. The signs carry the Garda logo, to leave thieves in no doubt that this scheme has the official backing of An Garda Siochana.
Speaking at last night’s Community Safety Network events, Sgt Ken Coughlan, who was instrumental in bringing the property marking scheme into Carrickmacross on a pilot basis last year, remarked that the number of thefts in the Carrickmacross area had dramatically reduced after bringing in the scheme, and that he was convinced that the scheme would have a tremendous impact on crime.
‘Until now, it has been next to impossible for Gardaí to reunite recovered items with their owners. Warehouses full of bikes, lawnmowers and other items are auctioned off when they are unclaimed each year after being recovered by Gardaí. If these items had their owners’ Eircodes printed onto them, finding their rightful owners is a simple click of the mouse exercise.’
Sgt Coughlan also pointed out how having items clearly marked with an owner’s Eircode makes it much easier to deal with travelling gangs.
“When we stop a vehicle that is acting suspiciously, and find that it is full of tools, who is to say that those tools don’t all belong to the driver of the vehicle? But if we were to find tools with an Eircode in that vehicle, and that Eircode did not correspond to the address of the driver, then we can make an immediate arrest on suspicion of receiving stolen goods. We can also call in to the station and find out if any equipment has been reported stolen from that Eircode’s address. That person could have their property back before they know it’s gone!”
Monaghan County Council is the first Council to have purchased a property marking machine, and is lending it out to community groups, sports clubs, and businesses free of charge as part of a Joint Policing Committee initiative to reduce crime. Since purchasing the machine at the start of the year, other Councils have now followed Monaghan’s lead, and Cavan now has its own machine, with Sligo, Donegal and Louth also considering investing in their own machines. The PSNI has recently purchased four machines, and will be carrying out property marking events all over Northern Ireland, which will hopefully make an impact on cross border thefts, which have plagued parts of this county.
The machine works by punching a series of holes, in the shape of the property owner’s Eircode, into the item to be marked. The size and depth of the lettering can be changed, to take account of the material being marked, such as hard metal or soft plastic. Any material that you can make a hole in without shattering can be marked with this technique; it’s not suitable for glass, for example, which will shatter. It will, however, mark things like trailers, caravans, ride on lawnmowers, strimmers, power tools, generators, leather saddles, carbon fibre bikes, golf clubs, plastic games consoles, TV’s, tablets and smartphones.
“Anything from an iPhone to an Ifor Williams!”
To book the machine, contact the Community Section of Monaghan County Council on 047 30500 or email Fionnuala at email@example.com or Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Community Safety Network is one of the Networks affiliated to the PPN, and brings together all the Community Alert, Community Text Alert, Community First Responders, CPR groups, defibrillator groups and others who are working to improve safety in Co. Monaghan. They provide PPN Representation on the Joint Policing Committee, amongst others.