Operation Thor helps to gardaí to hammer crime in Waterford

Operation Thor has coincided with a significant reduction in theft and breaks-in in the Waterford region, according to gardai.

Addressing the county’s April joint policing committee meeting, Waterford City Superintendent Chris Delaney reported a 35% reduction in burglaries and 28% decrease in property crime to April 4, 2016 compared to the corresponding period last year. The detection rates were 19% and 39% respectively.

The superintendent said checkpoints mounted as part of the initiative had also helped produce a figure of zero fatalities or serious injuries in the division to date.

The €5m nationwide operation has seen gardaí adopt a multi-strand approach, emphasising increased Garda visibility, extra manpower — including mobile armed garda units — intelligence gathering, tougher bail conditions, awareness campaigns and interaction with community organisations, such as Neighbourhood Watch and Muintir na Tíre.

Supt Delaney said the division had targeted known criminals in “a very pro-arrest” approach, brought them to court and curfew conditions were proving effective within bail conditions. Gardaí had also issued crime preventive guidelines by visiting businesses and through regional media.

The provisional statistics for the division show reductions across almost every crime category. Thefts from shops (-19%), thefts from vehicles (-36%), assaults (-18%), sexual offences (-6%), criminal damage (-21%), public order offences (-16%) and drug possession for supply (-20%) all showed decline.

However robbery from the person (+75%), possession of (non-firearm) offensive weapon (+64%) and drug possession for person a use (13%) bucked the trend.

Meanwhile smartphones were the major targets for thieves and he strongly recommended phone users note their 15-digit IMEI number (under the battery) to assist investigations.

Earlier, Waterford Chief Superintendent Pat Murphy had outlined the division’s Policing Plan 2016 which, he explained, revolved around a “four ‘R’” preventive approach: responsive, reassuring, respectful, and reliable policing.

The chief superintendent said Waterford was “in a good place” overall.

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