Gardaí have advised people who are on holidays to refrain from posting on social media while they are away, saying it could alert potential burglars that their home is vacant.

It is part of a new garda campaign focused on reducing summertime home burglaries.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Crime Prevention National Centre of Excellence advised people not to advertise their itinerary on social media.

He said: "Post your holiday pictures when you return and don't tag people in photographs without their permission."

New garda figures show that almost one in every four break-ins from June to August results from an unsecured door or window.

Analysis shows that break-ins are mostly likely between midnight and 4am, and between noon and 3pm.

At the launch of the latest Supporting Safer Communities Campaign at Bloom in the Park, gardaí also recommended that homeowners plant prickly plants to help deter thieves.

Mahonia, Purple Berberis, Ulex Europeans, Golden Bamboo, Firethorn and Shrub Rose are among 16 plants gardaí have listed as barriers to deter thieves from trying to enter a property.

Sgt Courtney said the summer months are a good time to think about "defensive planting".

He added: "Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should also be kept to a height of no more than three feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which they can hide." 

Garda analysis also shows that gardening equipment, tools and bikes are more likely to be stolen by thieves during the summer months.