Gardai plan crackdown on roaming burglars

Cormac Murphy

GARDAI are to attempt a massive crackdown on urban burglary gangs who are roaming the country.

The shocking rise in burglaries is to be tackled by a new operation targeting gangs. It comes in the wake of an epidemic of break-ins in Dublin.

Garda stations in the capital and surrounding counties reported sharp rises in burglaries in recent weeks. Nationally, the rate is up 8pc.

The new garda plan, Operation Fiacla, will be directed specifically at roaming criminals who commit house thefts around the country.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter, whose own home was burgled in March, said he is concerned about the increase in break-ins.


However, gardai are now employing targeted strategies to "counter this trend and have had major successes within the last 10 days", he told the Garda Representative Association conference in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan revealed two individuals suspected of committing 20 burglaries in the west of Ireland were arrested on Monday morning.

"The increase in burglaries is certainly a concern for us and it is something that we have been discussing for the last day and a half in Templemore," he said. "We have launched an operation, Fiacla, which will deal with this, particularly travelling criminals."