Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (47)

Tom Neville


47. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the impact the use of Eircode postcodes will have in combatting rural crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21511/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I want to thank the Deputy for raising this issue. I am assured that An Garda Síochána, and other emergency services, consider the use of Eircodes to be of vital assistance in locating the position of emergency callers, particularly in rural areas where non unique addresses can be a significant issue.

Eircodes can assist on a practical level with preventing crime. An Garda Síochána encourage the marking of property as a crime prevention measure. Where this is done in communities, signs can be erected in the area indicating that property has been marked. This, in itself, acts as a significant deterrent to criminals and has, I understand, had very positive effects on crime rates.

While neither my Department nor An Garda Síochána endorse any particular property marking product or service provider, the act of marking the property, be that with an ultra violet pen or an embossing machine, acts as a deterrent and makes it more difficult for criminals to profit, .

Marking property with an Eircode has a number of distinct advantages. Aside from reducing the likelihood that your property will be stolen in the first place, it can assist Gardaí in identifying stolen property that a person may have in their possession and provides evidence for prosecutions. It also allows for identification of the rightful owner and the return of property quickly and efficiently.

I am informed that highly successful pilot projects involving the marking of property with eircodes have been carried out in West Cork and Monaghan and are being adopted by communities elsewhere in the country. While supported by An Garda Síochána, these initiatives have been successfully adopted by the local communities involved.

Whatever method is used, I would strongly encourage people to mark their property be it farm machinery, bicycles, computers or other personal property and to consider the advantages of using a unique identifier - such as eircode - in doing so.

Question No. 48 answered with Question No. 40.