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People urged to be vigilant ahead of expected spike in burglaries

Burglaries and related crimes generally increase in the winter months.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Brian A Jackson

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN advised to be more vigilant about burglaries in the coming months ahead of an expected increase in such incidents during the winter.

An Garda Síochána commenced the winter phase of Operation Thor last Thursday, 1 October. The operation, which is designed to tackle the anticipated increase in the number of burglaries during the winter, will run until the end of March 2021.

Operation Thor, which has been running for five years, has “successfully reduced the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property related crime since its introduction in 2015″, a garda spokesperson said today.

The average number of residential burglaries reported during the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2015 (covering October to March each year) was 11,592. This has dropped to an average of 6,980 since the end of 2015 to date, a decrease of 39.8%.

Commenting on the current Operation Thor phase, Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said burglary and related crime “has a particularly devastating effect on its victims”.

Throughout the winter phase of the operation, O’Driscoll will meet with those in charge of Roads Policing in each region, along with the Garda Analyst Service, to review policing activity undertaken and plan additional actions. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) are also represented at these meetings.

Most common times for burglaries

In winter, there is a propensity for burglary to occur in the hours of 4pm to 9pm, with 42.4% of all burglaries occurring within these hours.

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Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the most likely days for burglaries to occur in winter, according to gardaí.

Residential burglary in 2020 has fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a sharp reduction observed in March and April in response to restrictions on work, travel, school and business.

Analysis from the Garda Síochána Analysis Service (GSAS) shows that:

  • March to August inclusive, there were 43.1% fewer residential burglaries reported compared to the same period in 2019.
  • From 2016 to 2019, the fewest burglaries occurred in June (7% of annual burglaries), while most burglaries occurred in November (9.7% of annual burglaries).
  • On average there were 38% more burglaries in November than there were in June. This represents an average of 334 burglaries.

People have been advised to do the following to help prevent burglaries:

  • 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

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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