By Siobhán Cronin
THE Eircode postal addresses may be taking a while to catch on, but one community initiaitive – the first of its kind in Ireland – is putting them to good use.
The new project – to encourage people to mark their property to reduce the risk of theft – is being launched this weekend in Schull.
Muintir Na Tire and Neighbourhood Watch have joined forces with An Garda Siochana to encourage rural areas to have their equipment – both inside and outside their homes – clearly marked.
The Mizen Community Safety Project will unveil Operation ID this weekend in Schull – showing people how important it is to have clear markings on their household, farm and boating equipment.
As a result, three Muintir na Tire community councils in the area, along with other local community groups, are launching this innovative property marking scheme.
The launch takes place on Saturday February 20th at 4pm in the Harbour View Hotel in Schull.
Items such as bicycles, laptops, music equipment and mobile phones can easily be stolen and quickly passed on.
The same applies to farm equipment and items such as power tools, chain saws and lawnmowers etc.
The property marking scheme will also be offered to mark all boating equipment in the Mizen area.
Several boat engines were taken in a daring theft in Baltimore last year, and this is a crime which is becoming increasingly familiar along Ireland’s coastline.
Asimilar theft was detected in Youghal in East Cork just last month.
Ballydehob, Schull and Goleen Community Councils are going to roll out this property marking initiative over the coming months. Volunteers in the three communities will be trained to offer a call-out service to each household to mark their valuables with a unique code which will be the Eircode that all households received in the post in the last few months.
This Eircode is unique to all households and will act as an effective crime deterrent, helping to reduce burglary thefts.
The public is being invited to attend the meeting and to see how a wide range of farm and household equipment can be easily marked with the state-of-the-art property marking equipment – the first of its kind to be used in Ireland. A similar scheme has been launched by North Yorkshire police in the past year with great results deterring thieves as well as increasing the chance of the police returning the items if stolen.
Everyone from laptop owners, to owners of cameras and other technological equipment, as well as fishermen and leisure boat owners, are urged to avail of the service.
‘This pilot scheme will be the first to be implemented in Ireland, and it is hoped that it will advance the roll-out of an All Ireland property marking initiative,’ said Maura O’Brien of the Ballydehob Area Community Council.