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36% reduction in burglaries nationwide since 2019 – Ward

High visibility policing to continue over the festive period with a focus on burglary hotspots

26th December 2022 - Senator Barry Ward

Targeted enforcement and high visibility policing has led to a 36% reduction in burglaries and property-related crime, according to Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward.

Senator Ward said Garda operations and focused patrols to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour will continue in our rural and urban communities over the festive period.

Senator Ward, Fine Gael’s Seanad Justice Spokesperson, said: “Thieves and criminals will take advantage of empty homes while people visit family and friends over Christmas, if they think they will get away with it.

“We all need to take action not to make it easy for criminals. Make sure your house alarm is working and on, close and lock all external windows and doors, and ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on things if you are away.

“This year’s winter phase of Operation Thor was launched by An Garda Síochána in October, and is designed to tackle burglaries and associated criminal activities.

“Figures show there has been a 36% reduction in the rate of burglary and property-related crime compared to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019, through Operation Thor since it was introduced in 2015.

“This has been achieved through a strong Garda presence of visible, focused patrols at specific times of day, targeting burglary hot-spots and sending a message both that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated and that offenders will be caught. Gardaí are targeting organised crime gangs, repeat offenders, and high-powered getaway vehicles.

“Preparations for policing on New Year’s Eve are underway, with other operations continuing in the capital to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Budget 2023 provided funding of €2.14 billion for An Garda Síochána, including a €5m increase in the overtime budget to over €100 million.

“There are currently 14,211 Garda members, representing an increase of 11% since the end of December 2015 (12,816 Garda members).

“The 2022 Garda recruitment campaign had 11,000 expressions of interest, which will provide us with a pipeline of recruits in 2023,” according to Senator Ward.

“High-visibility policing works. An increased garda presence makes people feel safer, and keeps them safer, especially during the darker winter months.

“Fine Gael is committed to creating stronger, safer communities and to ensuring that Gardaí are adequately resourced to detect and prevent crime.”

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