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Gardai urge shoppers to beware of car park thefts this Christmas

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TODAY’S the day when shoppers swing into action to cross off essential items on that festive list, with December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, having long become a traditional shopping day in Ireland. And Gardaí in Kerry are taking the opportunity to warn shoppers to be vigilant of car park theft in retail car parks today and this month.

Issuing the warning for “Retail Safety Day” today, they report new figures which show 50 car park thefts taking place each month.

The figures, compiled by the Garda Analysis Service to launch Retail Safety Day, show some €400,000 worth of goods was stolen from Irish shoppers’ cars last year.
Incidents are most common on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12 noon and 6pm, with incidents rising in December. The average value taken per theft was €600, while the most commonly taken items are cash, electronics, tools and handbags.

Launched to coincide with the start of the busy festive shopping period, Retail Safety Day urges members of the public to engage in safe shopping and parking in order to avoid becoming a victim of crime, whilst also improving their personal security.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Bureau of Community Engagement stated: “Customers should be wary while shopping. Always park in well-lit and secure areas. When you leave your car, lock all doors and windows and double check to make sure. Don’t leave property or cash on view, take it with you. Report all thefts and suspicious activities to staff or Gardaí.

“We strongly encourage shoppers to engage in safe parking as over 50 incidents of theft from vehicles at retail car parks occur every month. With an average loss of €600 per incident, many of these thefts are avoidable. Following some of these simple steps will make sure your Christmas doesn’t get spoiled by theft,” said Sergeant Courtney.

“There are also over 100 thefts from customers in shops every month. Handbags are being targeted when left in trolleys or hanging on buggies. The handbag itself isn’t always the item that is taken, sometimes objects within the handbag are targeted too and often they are not immediately noticed missing by the owner. Mobile phones are the most commonly stolen object.”

Retail Safety Day also aims to raise awareness amongst retailers on ways to prevent business losses from criminal activity. Shoplifting adds 3% to the price of products.

The Garda Analysis Service also said that shoplifting at Christmas time last year cost retailers €55 million, while the overall loss in 2015 was €255 million. However, thefts from shops have decreased by 2.7% this year so far, according to the CSO.

The busiest time for thefts from shops are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with almost two thirds occurring between 12pm and 6pm.

Sergeant Courtney added: “It’s important for retailers to be reminded that thefts from shops tend to increase from mid November until Christmas.

“The four main items stolen from retailers are groceries, alcohol, clothing and cosmetics. It is noticeable that thefts from clothes stores increase sharply just before Christmas and we also see a considerable increase of thefts from pharmacies, largely involving cosmetic thefts, throughout November and December.

“Retailers should make it difficult for thieves by improving security around the peak times of these thefts. Two thirds of all theft from shops happens between 12pm and 6pm, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday seeing the most thefts. Employing more staff at these times, training staff on retail security, displaying high value products away from entrance doors or behind security cabinets, installing and maintaining CCTV systems and ensuring cameras are not blocked by sale signs are just some of the ways retailers can improve their security.”

Local Garda clinics will be held throughout the country on December advising the public on their personal safety at this festive time. Meanwhile, An Garda Síochána produced safety information packs for both customers and retailers, both of which are available to download from the Garda website.

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Local soprano releases new single

Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday. ‘Before […]

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Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single.

Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday.

‘Before You Leave Me’ has a Jazz influence. Mary has been writing her own songs since March this year covering several different genres.

“Tony O’Flaherty of Sonas Studios has brought my songs to life and I am delighted with the production on the songs,” Mary told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town

The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30. Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in […]

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The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30.

Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in Ireland hope that this year’s event will inspire even more people than previous years and has funded multiple flagship as well as local events run by the Network of Local Sports Partnerships, including this ‘Family Street Orienteering Kerry’ event.

“This free event looks to offer everyone an opportunity the get out and be active and maybe try something new,” Gearóid O Doherty, the Coordinator of Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership said. 

“Urban Orienteering is an activity that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. You get to challenge yourself a little and still go at a pace that suits you – and what a beautiful location to do it all in, Killarney town!

“With many people possibly new to the Kerry region, be that through work, college or otherwise, this is an ideal way to get involved in the community and explore the streets and lanes of Killarney in a fun and active way.”

The Kerry Orienteers Club have designed the courses for this event and are looking forward to the excitement of it all and helping those new to the sport to continue taking part in the months and years that follow.

“We know that, for a lot of people, this will be their first time trying orienteering, but they can rest assured, as we will be there to talk them through it and help them out if needed,” Brendan O’Brien from Kerry Orienteers said.

“If it is something they want to try again, we can signpost them to other events, both locally here in Kerry and indeed nationally. Orienteering is a fantastic sport that allows you to build your skills and confidence, with all events having a variety of routes to cater for all levels.”

To cater for physical distancing and government guidelines, there are several staggered start times for participants to choose from, beginning at 6pm and the last group heading off at 7.30pm. With free t-shirts for all who sign up and additional workshops onsite, from the likes of Leave No Trace Ireland, it is sure to be a fun and vibrant evening, all stemming from the start point at ANAM – Killarney’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Places are limited for this event. Free online registration is available and those looking to attend are encouraged to book their place early to avoid disappointment.

For more information, you can visit any of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership social media accounts or go to www.sportireland.ie.

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