Monday 23 September 2019

East-west divide for burglary rates as homes in capital worst hit

Crime fight: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Figures show that 41pc of the country's burglaries take place in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Crime fight: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Figures show that 41pc of the country's burglaries take place in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

Ken Foy

Regional data on burglaries has shown a stark east-west divide with the rate almost four times higher in Dublin than in Kerry.

An analysis of burglaries on the CSO recorded crime database, between January 2009 and December 2018, found there were almost 250,000 burglaries of residential and commercial premises in that period.

According to the research, which was carried out by alarm company PhoneWatch, Dublin accounted for 41pc of all burglaries.

It not only had the largest volume of burglaries (102,555), but also the highest burglary rate with one-in-five properties targeted.

Dublin was followed by the commuter counties of Louth, Kildare and Wicklow.

Kerry had the lowest burglary levels, with the equivalent of just one in every 19 properties burgled, closely followed by Donegal and Mayo.

Co Cork, despite having a large urban population, was rated as the fourth safest county in terms of burglary rates with the equivalent of just one in every 16 premises being burgled.

The four busiest Garda stations in the country for dealing with burglaries in the past decade are all in Dublin.

These are Tallaght (7,791), Blanchardstown (6,165), Dundrum (5,275) and Pearse Street in the city centre (5,112 recorded burglaries).

The Tallaght area is the base of many of the country's most prolific burglary gangs and the research shows they not only use the country's motorway network to target homes and businesses, but have also hit properties in their own locality.

However, while Tallaght recorded the most burglaries of any of Ireland's 550 Garda stations nationwide, it also recorded the largest fall over the 10 years analysed, with a 58pc decrease since 2009.

The three Garda stations recording the highest increases in the number of recorded burglaries between 2009 and 2018 were all in Dublin. These are Rathcoole, Skerries and Santry, followed by Mayfield in Cork.

In total, 245,260 burglaries occurred in Ireland between January 2009 and December 2018, but there has been a major decline in crime nationwide for more than two years with massive Garda investigations into burglary gangs across the country, such as in Operation Thor.

"While there were significant variations year on year, 2018 saw the lowest number of burglaries for the decade (16,969).

"Data for the first three months of 2019 shows the decline continuing with 4,226 burglaries recorded in the first three months of this year, a 4.6pc drop," PhoneWatch managing director Eoin Dunne said.

"While we're seeing a welcome reduction in burglaries in recent years, the reality is it remains all too common in Ireland.

"By examining the figures over an extended period we can see the true scale and impact of burglary in Ireland.

"The good news is that our research also shows Irish householders are taking more steps in recent years to protect their homes, including the installation of monitored alarm systems."

Winter months have traditionally been the worst months for burglary nationwide and the analysis backs this up with November being the most prolific month for the crime.

It accounts for 11pc of break-ins on average.

There has been a rise in burglaries in January and February, with the crime during those two months almost doubling over the past decade.

The summer months of May and June have seen the least amount of burglaries nationwide.

Irish Independent

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