18 Aug 2022

Burglaries down 43% thanks to garda operation targeting criminal gangs

There were 43% less burglaries of homes reported in March 2018 compared to October 2017, following the implementation of the winter phase of the gardaí’s Operation Thor.

The winter phase of Operation Thor was launched at the end of October 2017, following a spike in residential burglaries and continued until the end of March 2018. Provisional figures available to An Garda Síochána indicate that there were 43% less burglaries in March 2018, the final month of the winter phase of Operation Thor, compared to October 2017, the month before the operation commenced.

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.  

Residential burglaries fell from 1,427 nationally for the month of October 2017 to 806 for the month of March 2018. For the period January to March 2018 compared to January to March 2017 there is a 25% reduction.

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.

A key aspect of the winter phase of Operation Thor has been the targeting of organised crime gangs involved in burglaries. Operation Thor activities have led to numerous arrests of inter-regional travelling criminals where high powered getaway vehicles were identified and intercepted.

The use of garda case managers to oversee repeat offenders has also resulted in the effective use of bail legislation.

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.

All figures referred to are provisional garda figures available at this time, official crime statistics are published by the Central Statistics Office.

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