The long bright spring days are inspiring people to get out and enjoy the Irish countryside. If you’re heading for the hills this weekend, plan your walk in advance choosing a route that suits your map-reading skills, and the fitness of all those in your group. Make sure you are prepared for a change in the weather; it’s always colder, wetter and windier up the hills. Don’t rely solely on electronic devices which have limited battery life, especially smartphones. For further tips, check our Walk Safely leaflet (link HERE
Unfortunately break-ins to parked vehicles are still a problem in many upland areas. This is typically fast and opportunistic crime, with most incidents taking place in the afternoons. The first step in preventing the unpleasant experience of having your car broken into is to avoid leaving any valuables in parked vehicles, particularly wallets, phones, laptops and sat-navs. Further advice is available below.
Mountaineering Ireland has developed a removable car window notice, with a strong message and simple graphics to deter thieves. The notice is available free to members (with a charge to cover postage and packaging), email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Alternatively, members of the public can purchase it from the online shop
The Gardaí and PSNI have appealed to Mountaineering Ireland members to immediately report all incidents of break-ins to parked vehicles and suspicious activity (giving a description and if possible the registration number of any vehicle involved). Don’t leave it till the next day – this information could help prevent crime.
The Gardaí and the PSNI have appealed to people parking in the uplands to take the following measures to protect their vehicles:
- Avoid leaving bags, clothing etc on view within the vehicle;
- Open the glove box, and where possible, the lid on the boot, to show there is nothing in the vehicle;
- Remove portable sat navs including cradle and suction pads; also wipe any suction marks off the windscreen;
- If you must leave valuables in the boot, put them in before you arrive at the parking location;
- Secure the vehicle; almost one quarter of vehicles broke into are unlocked;
- Some thieves use a device to block the signal from an owner’s remote control to their car; check that your car is actually locked before you walk away.
- Report all break-ins or damage to vehicles;
- Watch for, and report, suspicious any activity to the Gardaí or Police, giving a description and if possible the registration number of any vehicle involved.
- Members who are active in Wicklow should save the number for the Divisional Headquarters in Bray (01 6665300) into their phones. For other areas, get the relevant phone numbers on http://www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx. Throughout Northern Ireland, use the PSNI non-emergency number 0845 600 8000.