New figures from An Garda Síochána show that burglarlies fell 23% in the last two months of 2017, writes Cillian Sherlock.
The provisional figures show that burglaries during the first two months of the Winter Phase of Operation Thor fell significantly - despite historical evidence which suggests burglaries are likely to surge by 20% in winter months, according to gardaí.
While the drop in burglaries in November and December follows a recorded increase for the previous two months, gardaí said their latest operational plan involved targeted enforcement and preventative activity which was "designed to prevent potential burglars from exploiting the reduced hours of daylight in the months November 2017 to April 2018".
Compared to October, the level of burglaries reported in the South Eastern Region in December was down 40%, 29% in the East, 25% in the Western, 22% in the South, 18% in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, and 15% less in the Northern Region.
In recent weeks, members of organised crime gangs have been arrested on a number of occasions in circumstances where high powered ‘get-away’ vehicles were identified and intercepted.
Ten targets who have recently been arrested in the course of Operation Thor have accumulated a total of one-hundred and fifty-five criminal convictions.
Gardaí said a "critical element" of Operation Thor is preventing burglaries from happening in the first place.
"In this regard, the public have a crucial to role to play in enhancing their home security. An Garda Síochána is advising people to Lock Up and Light Up as most burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm in winter months and over 50% of burglaries take place either through the front or back door," it said.
Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll stated, "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. The positive start to the Winter Phase of Operation Thor is encouraging and we intend achieving more success throughout the remaining months.”
Operation Thor led to a 30% reduction in burglaries following its introduction in November 2015 is "a multi-strand approach to tackling burglaries with an emphasis on preventing the crime from happening in the first instance".
Operation Thor actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders through co-ordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends.
- Digital Desk