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03 Jul 2022

Gardaí urge public to be safe and guard belongings ahead of St Patrick's Day celebrations

Gardaí urge public to be safe and guard belongings ahead of St Patrick's Day celebrations

Younger people in particular are urged to exercise caution while celebrating this weekend and to take measures to ensure personal safety

An Garda Síochána are urging members of the public to exercise caution when socialising over the St. Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend.

Particular care should be taken with personal items particularly mobile phones. An Garda Síochána have made a number of recent detections and prosecutions following incidents of theft in Dublin city centre.

Following investigations into a number of incidents of theft in Dublin city centre, Gardaí conducted a search of two hotel rooms in North Dublin on Sunday March 13, 2022. During the course of the search, six mobile phones were recovered, each one wrapped in tin foil to prevent tracking.

A male, aged in his 20s, was arrested and has since been charged. He appeared before Dublin District Court on Monday March 14, 2022 for the offence of handling stolen property. He was remanded in custody and is due to appear before Dublin District Court on Wednesday March 16, 2022 at 10.30am.

To date, two of the mobile phones have been returned to their owners. Gardaí are continuing to conduct enquiries in an effort to locate the owners of the other phones.

During a separate investigation, Gardaí recovered two stolen mobile phones and a purse during patrols on Camden Street in the early hours of Sunday morning, March 13, 2022. A male, aged in his 30s, was arrested when the items were found in his possession.

He has since been charged in relation to this investigation and was released on bail to appear before court on April 6, 2022.

The phones were successfully returned to their owners.

As St. Patrick’s Day celebrations resume after two years of cancelled events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gardaí are aware of the high volume of people expected to join the festivities.

Gardaí will continue to conduct high visibility and plain clothes patrols throughout Dublin city centre over the bank holiday weekend, keeping people safe.  Younger people in particular are urged to exercise caution while celebrating this weekend and to take measures to ensure personal safety.

Personal Safety Advice:

• Drink alcohol responsibly
• Never drink and drive, no matter the time of the day/ night
• Plan your night out, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back
• Don’t let your friends or family walk home alone; there is safety in numbers
• If you have to, walk in well lit areas and make sure you can be seen by passing traffic (reflective gear/torch)
• Take care when carrying personal property (handbag, smartphone or tablet) in crowded areas, keep them in a safe location within view
• Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas; keep handbags zipped and don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. In bars and restaurants take care about where you store coats and handbags.
• Park and lock your car in secure, well lit areas. Keep valuables including bags and coats hidden.

Mobile Phone Safety

The following practical measures can help in preventing and reducing mobile phone theft:
• Register your mobile phone with your service provider.
• Take careful note of your unique 15 digit mobile phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. By pressing *#06# on your phone keypad the IMEI will appear on the screen.
• Enable the PIN Security feature and keep your phone locked at all times.
• When out and about, keep your mobile phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings.
• If you are making or receiving a phone call in public, do so with your back to a wall and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind.
• Never leave your mobile phone behind in an unattended vehicle.
• If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile phone service provider immediately to suspend your service and prevent unauthorised calls being made and billed to you. Your provider will block your SIM card and IMEI number to prevent your phone from being used on the mobile network.
• Report the loss or theft to An Garda Síochána, providing identification numbers for your SIM card and IMEI number. This information may assist in the recovery of your mobile phone.

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