Gardaí claim number of burglaries down at end of 2017
Provisional figures show rate dropped 23 per cent between October and December
There was a spike in burglaries in the months leading up to the winter period.
Gardaí have attributed a drop in recorded burglaries between October and December last year to the launch of a winter crime initiative.
Provisional statistics produced by the Garda show the level of burglaries decreased by 23 per cent nationally over the period.
This coincided with the launch of the winter phase of Operation Thor targeting roving criminal gangs, and followed a spike in burglaries in the months leading up to the winter period.
There were regional variations in the drop-off with 40 per cent fewer burglaries reported in the southeast over November and December, compared to a 15 per cent reduction in the northern region, which showed the most modest decline.
There was an 18 per cent reduction in reported burglaries in the Dublin area.
The figures provided by An Garda Síochána contain only references to the rate of burglaries towards the latter end of 2017, and do not give an overall annual figure for burglaries recorded or a month-by-month breakdown either nationally or regionally.
An Garda Síochána compiles its own provisional crime statistics, which are then proofed by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) prior to official publication.
The last number of crime statistics releases were withheld by the CSO due to concerns over the validity of information provided by gardaí, particularly regarding homicide rates.
Gardaí have also come under sustained and high-profile criticism for inaccuracies in roadside breath testing figures compiled over recent years.
A surge in burglaries is normally expected over the winter months due to lower daylight hours, and gardaí say this prompted greater preparation in the period leading up to November with a ramping up in targeted enforcement and preventative activity.
It was added that 10 people with an accumulated total of 155 criminal convictions between them were arrested over the winter phase of Operation Thor, representing some of the most prolific criminals who were targeted under the initiative.
There was no confirmation provided as to what exactly the convictions were for.
Senior gardaí held a meeting earlier this week chaired by Assistant Commissioner for Special Crime Operations John O’Driscoll to review the effectiveness of Operation Thor so far this winter, and to plan additional actions for the rest of the season up to April.
The Assistant Commissioner has urged members of the public to be mindful of older neighbours who may make easy targets for criminals.
“The positive start to the Winter Phase of Operation Thor is encouraging and we intend achieving more success throughout the remaining months.
“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,” he said.
Gardaí have also encouraged homeowners to ‘Lock Up and Light Up’ give the fact that most burglaries happen between 5pm and 11pm over the winter months, and half of all intruders enter through either the front or back door of a property.