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Going to be away this Christmas? Here are some top tips from the gardaí to avoid getting burgled

Gardaí will be targeting burglary gangs nationwide this winter.

GARDAÍ HAVE URGED people to take precautions this Christmas period so they don’t have their homes burgled. 

Winter is the most common time for burglaries with many criminals taking advantage of the shorter days so they can target homes under the cover of night. 

Gardaí will continue to implement Operation Thor – a garda initiative which targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders. Significant resources have been invested nationwide to challenge criminal gangs who target homes across the country. 

Operation Thor has resulted in a substantial reduction in domestic burglaries across Ireland since it first launched in November 2015. Over the winter months, targeted activity across Garda divisions includes checkpoints, increased patrolling in certain hot-spots, and the provision of crime prevention advice. Gardaí also work with its partners on initiatives such as Text Alert, and attempting to deny criminals the use of the road network.

To protect yourself this Christmas period, gardaí have advised the following:

  • Whether at home or going out, turn on some lights, use timer switches.
  • Lock all doors and windows, almost 1 in 4 Summer time burglaries involve entry through an unsecured access point.
  • Use your house alarm.
  • Store keys safely; away from windows and letterboxes.
  • Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home. 

Gardaí said that they will target organised crime gangs and prolific offenders with “enhanced covert surveillance; disrupting the stolen goods market; high visibility checkpoints and roads policing supported by ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology to limit the use of the road network by offenders”.

Officers added that crime trend analysis will be used to identify burglary hot-spots and extra high-visibility patrols will then be put into those areas, targeted crime prevention advice will be given to local communities, bail conditions of prolific offenders will be closely monitored, and programmes will be put in place to help reduce re-offending by prolific offenders.

Data from the Garda Analysis Service shows that 75% of burglaries are carried out by 25% of offenders.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, Special Crime Operations highlighted that “considerable success has been achieved in tackling residential burglaries, in the course of Operation Thor.

“However, every burglary results in at least one additional victim. For this reason, the Garda Síochána is determined, through launching the Winter Phase of Operation Thor, to further reduce the number of burglaries that occur throughout the country.

“Having your home burgled is a distressing and traumatic experience. An Garda Síochána is hoping that by raising awareness of some simple crime prevention measures, such as locking up and lighting up, less Irish families will have to endure the pain of being burgled this winter.

“If going out, Irish homeowners should endeavour to make sure their home looks occupied – to Lock Up and Light Up. Use timer switches to turn on lights, lock all doors and windows, store keys away from windows and letterboxes, and use your alarm.

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

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