An Garda Síochána, Clare County Council and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) are working in collaboration on the rollout of property marking in the county.
Property marking started in Monaghan and is targeted at reducing robberies and thefts particularly in rural areas. A very difficult to remove physical mark is etched on the piece of property by a specially-designed machine which embosses the property item with small dots in the pattern of an Eircode.
Funding for the purchase of property marking equipment in Clare was provided by each Municipal District through General Municipal Allocation (GMA) funding in Spring 2019. Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) sought an update on its streamlining throughout Co Clare at the December meeting of Clare County Council.
“Inaugural property marking clinics” were organised by staff of the Rural Development Directorate over the summer months in a bid to promote and create awareness. A substantial amount of agricultural/contractor property was also marked during the course of these events,” Director of Service Leonard Cleary confirmed.
Clinics were held at Ennis Mart, Newmarket-on-Fergus Agricultural Show, Kilrush Mart and the Bridgetown Show during the months of May, June and July. “In order for the system to be really effective, it needs to be rolled out to individual communities. Once a community reaches a certain level of property markings, they can erect a sign in the community much like the neighbourhood watch signs alerting would-be thieves that the property in the area is marked. This should act as a deterrent to criminals,” Cleary stated.
Following a meeting between Council staff, the Crime Prevention Officer and six community policing officers of An Garda Síochána, it was advised by the Gardaí to “initially target the village of Crusheen and its surrounding area”. A subsequent clinic was arranged for November and was jointly hosted by Clare County Council and An Garda Siochana, a substantial amount of property was marked at this Clinic. “It is proposed to continue these Clinics in conjunction with An Garda Siochana into 2020. The Gardai will also be trained on the use of the marking system for use at events,” the Director of Service added.
Over the winter, the IFA have also teamed up with the Council to assist in promoting the scheme to farmers. Rural Development staff attended IFA AGM’s at Ballyea and Meelick during the month of December as well as briefing the Clare IFA Executive.