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Crime Prevention - Burglary advice

On this month’s Crimecall, Crime Prevention segment, Sergeant Deirdre O’Neill provided information in relation to Burglary advice and discussed An Garda Síochána’s launch of its new property app ‘Operation Thor’ and ‘Lock Up Light Up’ the anti-burglary awareness campaign. 

Since 2015, Operation Thor actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders through coordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends. 

There has been a relative decrease in residential burglaries of approximately 38% from pre Thor to pre-covid times with a relative decrease of 48% from pre-covid through covid-19 times.

Garda divisions will have increased checkpoints and patrolling in burglary hot-spots and we will be promoting awareness around property safety through Neighbour Watch and Community Watch. 

Compared to the summer months, figures show that that there can be a surge of up to 20% in burglaries during the winter months, particularly during the hours of 5pm to 9pm with Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays being the most likely days that such incidents will occur. 2.3% of burglaries in 2022 were reported as aggravated burglaries. 

While burglary levels are still significantly lower than pre-pandemic times, there was an additional 733 burglaries reported nationally compared to last year, an increase of approximately 20% on last year. A reason for the rates remaining low compared to pre-pandemic times is possibly due to people still working for home meaning fewer houses are vacant, however, with people returning to their place of work, this figure appears to be on the rise again. 

This year to date:

  • There have been 6,272 burglary incidents reported nationally.
  • 4,533 (73%) of these incidents have been residential burglary.
  • 147 (2.3%) were recorded as Aggravated Burglary

During the same period in 2019 there were 10,439. 

Compared to 2021:

  • Residential burglary increased by 21%
  • Burglary elsewhere increased by 26%
  • Aggravated Burglary decreased by 12%

‘Lock Up Light Up’ is An Garda Síochána's anti-burglary awareness campaign which encourages homeowners to protect their homes over the winter months. Over 20% of winter burglaries involved a premises that was unsecured. There is also an increase in the use of entrances at the rear of the residence during winter months, possibly due to being able to operate more easily in the cover of darkness. 


Simple steps can help protect your home, so whether you are at home or going out remember:

  • Turn on some lights, LED bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.
  • Use timer switches/ motion detectors/ smart lights to turn on lights via phone
  • Use motion detector/sensor lights outside, make sure they cover the door and not just the area near the door.
  • Lock all doors and windows as part of your regular routine
  • Use an alarm – get it serviced and ensure battery pack is working
  • Store keys away from windows
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house

Taking these simple steps will lessen a home’s vulnerability, deter burglars and protect homes.

Data from the Garda Analysis Service shows that approximately one third of all burglaries are through the front doors - with most burglars using their own body to gain entry. Other key findings include:

  • Burglars also commonly target back doors (23%), back windows (20%) and front windows (8%), with one in five cases involving a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window. 
  • Jewellery and cash remain the most common objects stolen.
  • Computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are also among the top items stolen. 
  • Nearly half of burglaries (45%) occur between 5pm and 11pm.
  • 36% of all burglaries during winter occur during the 4 hour window of 5pm and 9pm.
  • The practice of ‘fishing’, where car keys are fished through a letterbox by burglars, also remains a problem with the Dublin region most at risk. 

Halloween Safety Advice:

- Do not buy, use or ignite fireworks - Do not provide any materials for bonfires  - Report sightings of pallets or tires being hoarded to your local authority - Keep away from unsupervised bonfires  - Explain dangers of fireworks and bonfires to children and teenagers - Keep pets indoors on Halloween night - There are penalties for selling, supplying and throwing fireworks.