The number of burglaries in homes across Ireland fell by 50% in the winter of 2018/2019 when compared to the same period four years earlier.
Residential burglaries fell from 12,057 during winter 2014/2015 to 5,997 during winter 2018/2019, according to provisional figures from An Garda Síochána released by CSO under reservation.
The statistics were gathered as part of the Winter Phase of Operation Thor which focuses on the targeting of organised crime gangs involved in burglaries.
It targets gangs and repeat offenders through co-ordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity. The winter phase of the operation runs from the start of October until the end of March each year.
The year on year reduction is almost 10% from 6,613 residential burglaries during winter 2017/2018 to 5,997 during winter 2018/2019.
According to the gardaí, international evidence shows that the number of burglaries generally increase by 20% during the winter months when daylight hours are at the lowest level.
The Assistant Commissioner of Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll, said: "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. We are particularly aware of the vulnerability of older victims and are determined to apprehend those who exploit their vulnerability.”
Operation Thor-related activities have led to several arrests of inter-regional travelling criminals where high powered ‘get-away’ vehicles were identified and intercepted, the gardaí said.
Additionally, checkpoints are used as a visible deterrent to criminals and reassurance to society.
Between October 2018 and March 2019, there were over 73,000 checkpoints undertaken by gardaí across all operations.