herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Garda's €5m Thor burglary blitz 'has led to 550 arrests'

Crackdown

Minister Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gardai have made 550 arrests for burglary under Operation Thor.

As the Government continues to come under increasing pressure to tackle the problem of rural crime, particularly burglaries, gardai are mounting checkpoints and carrying out armed patrols.

The crackdown has managed to target particular suspects, and the arrests include people "connected to crimes committed by mobile criminal groups, as well as handling stolen property, possession of firearms and drugs offences".

The initiative will cost the taxpayer around €5m in overtime and other costs.

"The early successes under Operation Thor have been achieved by targeting key suspects, patrolling of crime hot spots and creating a general public awareness of the need for crime prevention measures," Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said this week.

"There has been concentrated garda activity, including 10,120 anti-crime patrols and 13,020 targeted checkpoints nationwide, with 550 burglary- related arrests."

In a parliamentary question, she also said she expects burglary offences will be down 34pc for the period November to January when compared with the same period in 2014 and in the beginning of 2015.

However, it will not be known how effective the plan has been at driving down burglary rates until crime figures are finalised by the Central Statistics Office.

Blades

Previously, the Herald revealed that 6,000 burglaries had been recorded in the capital in the first six months of 2015.

Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that gardai have seized 2,648 knives in only two years.

New figures given to Independent TD Tommy Broughan show that last year gardai seized 1,322 blades while in 2014 they confiscated 1,326.

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