An Garda Síochána has commenced the Winter Phase 2019/2020 of Operation Thor which will run until March 2020.
Analysis from the Garda Analysis Services shows that:
- Residential burglaries increase between the hours of 5pm and 10pm during winter
- On average 1 in 5 intruders enter through an unsecured door or window
- Homes that look unoccupied are more vulnerable to burglary
- The most likely entry point for a burglar is a door – 27% of burglaries take place through the front door and 25% through a rear door. Access through a rear window accounts for 28%.
- Burglars tend to target cash and jewellery when breaking into homes
This is the 5th Year of the implementation of Operation THOR Winter Phase.
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.
Residential burglaries, nationally, fell by 50% from Winter 14/15 (12,057) to Winter 18/19 (5,997), under the Winter Phase of Operation Thor.
The year on year reduction is almost 10% from 6,613 residential burglaries during Winter 17/18 to 5,997 during Winter 18/19.
Operation THOR pro-actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders through coordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest crime trends and patterns to protect communities.
Operation Thor Winter Phase will continue to focus on five main areas to reduce burglary incidents and protect communities.
- Crime investigations and operations: This sees a range of activities including the targeting at national, regional and divisional level of organised crime gangs and prolific offenders; 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.
- Crime prevention: 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.
- Victims Support: Victims will be provided with support and advice, and will be kept updated as their case progresses through the justice system. Burglary victims will be provided with crime prevention advice to reduce the risk of re-victimisation.
- Education and awareness: An Garda Síochána will 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.
- Working in partnership: An Garda Síochána will continue to work with partner agencies; The Courts Service and Probation Service on programmes to reduce re-offending by prolific criminals; community-based organisation such as the IFA, Neighbourhood Watch, Munitir na Tire and Crimestoppers to prevent crime.
The most important partnership is with the community and working with them through schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch, TextAlert and Community Alert Schemes.
Speaking at a National Implementation Meeting this morning 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".
He added: "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."