Burglaries in the South-East fell by 40% in December when compared to October, according to provisional figures from An Garda Síochána.
While a rise in burglaries was experienced for a number of months up to October 2017, in the first two months since the launch of the Winter Phase of Operation Thor at the beginning of November last year, the level of burglaries reported decreased by 23% nationally.
In the South-Eastern Region 40% less burglaries were reported in December compared to October, 29% less in the Eastern Region, 25% less in the Western Region, 22% less in the Southern Region, 18% less in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR), and 15% less in the Northern Region, over the same period of time.
It has been established in Ireland and elsewhere that a surge in burglaries of about 20% is likely to arise in the winter months, when daylight hours are at the lowest level, in the absence of effective preventative measures.
Having observed an increase in burglaries in September and October 2017, An Garda Síochána prepared an operational plan for a Winter Phase of Operation Thor, involving the undertaking of targeted enforcement and preventative activity, designed to prevent potential burglars from exploiting the reduced hours of daylight in the months November 2017 to April 2018.
A key part of the Winter Phase of Operation Thor has been the targeting of organised crime gangs (OCGs) involved in burglaries.
In recent weeks’ members of OCGs have been arrested on a number of occasions in circumstances where high powered ‘get-away’ vehicles were identified and intercepted.
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.
Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll, said:"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, which led to a 30 per cent 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.