Burglaries fall 9pc as gardai target repeat offenders
BURGLARIES have fallen nationwide by 9pc, according to the latest crime statistics to be published today.
The big drop is the result of Operation Fiacla, which was set up by the garda authorities in March last year to target gangs.
Fiacla has so far resulted in the arrest of 5,233 people with 2,903 brought before the courts on criminal charges.
Figures by the Central Statistics Office reveal a 9pc drop in the first quarter of this year, compared to the corresponding period last year.
Senior garda officers are also aware of the impact made by repeat offenders and local patrols are on alert when recidivists are released.
Officers now keep in close contact with the Irish Prison Service on the release dates for their top targets, as they know that a new spree of break-ins can be expected.
Some of the burglars are likely to carry out 10 burglaries in a day.
Specific anti-burglary initiatives are being implemented in each garda region in support of Fiacla and in the Dublin area Operation Acer has resulted in a 10pc reduction in the crime since it began in April last year.
According to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, the reduction has stemmed from targeted measures aimed at criminals.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the policing operations illustrated that freeing up gardai from desk jobs delivered more effective policing services.
"What really matters are results, not maintaining the status quo just for the sake of it, and, under the commissioner's management, those results are being delivered," he added.
The new statistics will show that crime is down in almost all categories, apart from robberies from the person, which are up by 1.2pc, murders, which are up 0.8pc, and theft, which is roughly at the same level.
Public order offences are down by 12.5pc, while offences involving damage to property have dropped by 10pc.