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Operation Thor - Winter Phase - 13/5/19

Operation Thor - Winter Phase

Burglaries of homes fell by 50% from Winter 2014/2015 to Winter 2018/2019, under Operation Thor – ‘Winter Phase’.

Residential burglaries, nationally, fell by 50% from Winter 14/15 to Winter 18/19, under the Winter Phase of Operation Thor, according to provisional figures from An Garda Síochána. Residential burglaries fell from 12,057, during Winter 14/15, to 5,997, during Winter 18/19.

The Winter Phase of Operation Thor runs from the start of October until the end of March each year. The year on year reduction is almost 10% from 6,613 residential burglaries during Winter 17/18 to 5,997 during Winter 18/19.

International evidence has established that a surge in burglaries of about 20% is likely to arise in the winter months when daylight hours are at the lowest level. An Garda Síochána prepares 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 reduced hours of daylight.

A key aspect of the Winter Phase of Operation Thor has been the targeting of organised crime gangs involved in burglaries. Operation Thor related 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. Checkpoints are another key aspect to reducing burglaries, providing a visible deterrent to criminals and visible reassurance to society. Between October 2018 and March 2019, there were over 73,000 checkpoints undertaken by Gardaí. This figure refers to all operations i.e. is not exclusive to Thor.

Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll, stated, "The positive conclusion to the Winter Phase of Operation Thor is encouraging and we will refocus and build on that success in Operation Thor, during the summer months. We are particularly aware of the vulnerability of older victims and are determined to apprehend those who exploit their vulnerability.”

Note to Editor

Throughout the winter phase, Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll meets with the most senior detectives and those in charge of Roads Policing in each Garda region, along with the Garda Analyst Service, to review policing activity undertaken for the purpose of Operation Thor and plan additional actions. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and Forensic Science Ireland (FSI), are also represented at these meetings.

Operation Thor involves actively targeting organised crime gangs and repeat offenders, through co-ordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends.

Official crime statistics are published under reservation by the Central Statistics Office.