Figures released by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee show the number of burglaries in Laois has declined dramatically in the past decade.
A factor in that decline in more recent years may have been the Covid lockdown, as burglars would have been deterred because people were at home for much of 2020 and 2021. However, it appears the Garda’s anti burglary Operation Thor, which was launched when burglaries were just past their peak in Laois, also played a major role in disrupting burglaries.
In total there were 4,077 burglaries in the last decade in Laois. Of these 597 were committed in 2012. Up to July 13 of this year, Laois Garda had responded to 95 burglary call outs. In 2021 there were 146 and in 2020 there were 132.
Prior to the Covid pandemic the figures are higher at 234 for 2019 and 287 in 2018. The worst year for burglaries and break ins in Laois in the past decade was 2014, when some 667 call outs were recorded.
The figures were released to Deputy Peadar Tóibín, who had asked the Minister for Justice the number of times that gardaí were called to the scene of a burglary and break-in in each county in the State in each of the past ten years and to date in 2022.
Minister McEntee said Gardai had launched Operation Thor in November 2015. It was designed to tackle burglaries and associated criminal activities, which often increase in the darker winter months, through targeted enforcement and crime prevention activity and information.
Explaining that the annual operation was very successful, Minister McEntee said: “ In 2015, there were in excess of 18,800 residential burglaries reported. By contrast, in 2021 there were just over 6,000 residential burglaries reported, a reduction of over 66% or approximately 13,000 fewer residential burglaries.”
She said: “While the COVID-19 pandemic was clearly a factor in some of this reduction, with people more likely to be present in their homes throughout the day, there has been a marked and consistent downward trend in such offences since the introduction of this Garda focus through Operation Thor."
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