Gardaí issue winter burglary prevention advice

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An Garda Siochana bage

WITH Daylight Saving Time beginning today, October 31, there will be earlier and longer darker evenings. International evidence details that there is traditionally an increase in residential burglaries to the extent of 20 per cent in the winter months, when daylight hours are at the lowest level.

To that effect, gardaí are launching Operation Thor, which is designed to tackle the anticipated increase in the number of burglaries and associated criminal activity that usually occur in winter months by undertaking targeted enforcement and preventative activity. This initiative has successfully reduced the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property-related crime since its introduction in 2015.

• Residential burglary follows a consistent seasonal pattern, with more burglaries occurring in the winter months.
• In winter, there is a propensity for burglary to occur in the hours of 4pm to 9pm.
• Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the most likely days for burglaries to occur in winter.

Official Crime statistics continue to show a reduction in Burglary and related offences in 2020 (down by 5,810, or 34.7 per cent) compared to 2019.

This downward trend continues in 2021, with official crime statistics for Q2 2021 showing a continuing reduction in Burglary and related offences (down by 5,349, or 37.2 per cent) compared to Q2 2020.

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Commenting on the current Operation Thor Winter Phase, Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll with responsibility for Organised and Serious Crime said: “A residential Burglary has a particularly devastating effect on its victims. Through the winter phase of Operation Thor An Garda Síochána continues to focus efforts on interrupting and preventing burglary and related crime and to impact on the activities of criminals involved in the commission of this crime.”

Operation Thor Winter Phase will continue to focus on five main areas
to reduce burglary incidents and protect communities:

1. Crime Prevention & Protecting Communities: by means of visible
focused patrols at specific times of day, targeting burglary ‘hot-spots’,
intelligence gathering on known offenders, high-visibility check points
to prevent ease of movement, strong crime prevention communications and
reassurance with communities.

2. Crime Investigation & Operational Activity: by ensuring every
burglary is appropriately investigated to the highest possible
standard, monitoring crime data daily for changes in trends of
burglaries, associated crimes and detection rates. Utilising all intelligence data to inform burglary prevention strategies.

3. Working in Partnership: by continuing to work with all partner
agencies in local and national Government and in particular with
communities by means of offering crime prevention advice and
reassurance of the availability of An Garda Síochána.

4. Education & Awareness: by the use of community policing strategies
to interact with young people and work to divert them from involvement
in crime. An Garda Síochána will continue to utilise social media,
community engagement and organised campaigns to inform people on how they can enhance the security of their homes and property. An Garda Síochána will continue the national ‘Lock Up/Light Up’ campaign supported by local awareness activity.

5. Victim Support: by keeping the victim central to the overall operation and providing professional support, advice and regular case updates to victims.

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

• Turn on some lights
• Use timer switches

• Lock all doors and windows
• Use an alarm
• Store keys away from windows
• Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house