Break-ins fell 25% in last months of 2017

The number of burglaries in Ireland fell by a quarter in the final two months of 2017, say the gardaí.

John O'Driscoll
Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll during a Garda press briefing on organised crime at the D.M.R. Regional Office, Dublin.

The number of burglaries in Ireland fell by a quarter in the final two months of 2017, say the gardaí.

According to provisional figures, there was a rise in burglaries, nationally, for a number of months, up until October last.

However, gardaí claim this trend was reversed by the commencement of the winter phase of Operation Thor — in November and December, burglaries fell by 23%

In the south-east of the country, 40% fewer burglaries were reported in December, compared to October.

A similar trend occurred in other areas, with a 29% drop reported in the east and a 25% drop in the west.

In the south, 22% fewer burglaries were reported in December, compared to October; 18% fewer burglaries were reported in the Dublin metropolitan region; and 15% fewer in the north.

The gardaí say burglaries usually rise by 20% in the winter, when daylight is at its lowest level, unless preventative measures are taken.

As a result, the force prepared an operational plan for the winter phase of Operation Thor, which involved targeted enforcement and preventative activity, designed to prevent potential burglars from exploiting the reduced hours of daylight between November and April.

Operation Thor has also been targeting organised crime gangs involved in burglaries and, in recent weeks, a number of people have been arrested, having been identified in high-powered get-away vehicles.

Ten targets recently arrested under Operation Thor have a combined total of 155 criminal convictions

Assistant Commissioner in Special Crime Operations John O’Driscoll said it has been a positive start to the winter phase of the crime-tackling initiative.

“We are particularly aware of the vulnerability of older people, for whom a burglary can be a very traumatic experience, and we are determined to identify and apprehend those who exploit their vulnerability,” he said.

“The positive start to the winter phase of Operation Thor is encouraging and we intend achieving more success throughout the remaining months.”

Earlier this week, Mr O’Driscoll met with the most senior detectives in each garda region to review activity undertaken to date under Operation Thor. They said additional actions will be taken in 2018. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was also represented at the meeting.

Operation Thor led to a 30% reduction in burglaries, following its introduction in November, 2015 and is a multi-strand approach to tackling burglaries, with an emphasis on prevention.

It actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat-offenders, through co-ordinated crime-prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends.

The gardaí have again emphasised that the public has a crucial role to play in enhancing their home security and are advising people to ‘Lock Up and Light Up’, as most burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm in winter and because more than 50% of burglaries take place either through the front or back door.

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