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 ‘get-away’ 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.
Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll stated, " 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 conclusion to the Winter Phase of Operation Thor is encouraging and we are refocussing Operation Thor for the summer months.”
Throughout the winter phase, Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll met with the most senior detectives in each Garda region and the Garda Analyst Service to review activity undertaken to date under Operation Thor and plan additional actions to be taken in 2018. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and Forensic Science Ireland are also represented these meetings.
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.