Tuesday 20 August 2019

Winter burglaries halved after targeting of travelling gangs, say gardaí

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Gardaí say residential burglaries during the winter months have been halved since a special operation was put in place targeting travelling criminals.

Residential burglaries fell by 50pc nationally between winter 2014/2015 and winter 2018/2019, according to provisional Garda figures released by the Central Statistics Office.

This involved a drop from 12,057 reported burglaries to 5,997 during the months between October and March.

According to the statistics, there was a 10pc drop in the past year. Some 6,613 burglaries were reported in winter 2017/2018.

Gardaí have credited the decrease to Operation Thor, which was put in place in November 2015.

This involved targeted enforcement and preventative activity, designed to prevent potential burglars from exploiting reduced hours of daylight.

A key aspect of the winter phase of the operation has been the targeting of organised crime gangs involved in burglaries.

Gardaí say the operation has led to numerous arrests of inter-regional travelling criminals where high powered get-away vehicles were identified and intercepted.

They say the use of Garda case managers to oversee repeat offenders, has also resulted in the effective use of bail legislation.

Checkpoints have also been identified as another key aspect to reducing burglaries, providing a visible deterrent to criminals and visible reassurance to society.

Gardaí say that between October 2018 and this March , there were over 73,000 checkpoints undertaken.

“The positive conclusion to the winter phase of Operation Thor is encouraging and we will refocus and build on that success in Operation Thor during the summer months,” said Assistant Commissioner for Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll.

“We are particularly aware of the vulnerability of older victims and are determined to apprehend those who exploit their vulnerability.”

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