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Friday 20 September 2019

Dublin tops burglary table with 1 in 5 homes targeted in last decade

Burglary rates were highest in the Dublin region
Burglary rates were highest in the Dublin region

Dublin is the county with the most burglaries over the past decade, with one in five properties targeted, the Herald can reveal.

An analysis of burglaries on the CSO recorded crime database between January 2009 December 2018 shows there were almost 250,000 raids on residential and commercial premises in that period.

According to research by home-monitoring company PhoneWatch, Dublin accounted for 41pc of all burglaries in the country over the past decade, suffering both the highest burglary volume (102,555) and the highest burglary rate.

Busiest

Dublin was followed by the commuter counties of Louth, Kildare and Wicklow.

The four busiest garda stations in the country for dealing with burglaries in the past decade are all in Dublin.

These are Tallaght (7,791), Blanchardstown (6,165), Dundrum (5,275) and Pearse Street in the capital's centre with 5,112 recorded burglaries.

Tallaght is the base of many of the country's most prolific burglary gangs and the research shows they don't just use the motorway network to target homes and businesses but have also been raiding properties in the local area.

However, while Tallaght recorded the most burglaries of any of Ireland's 550 garda stations nationwide, it also showed the largest fall over the 10 years analysed, with a 58pc decrease since 2009.

In total, 245,260 burglaries were recorded in Ireland between January 2009 and December 2018 but there has been a major decrease in the crime nationwide for more than two years with massive garda investigations - such as Operation Thor - into burglary gangs across the country.

"While there were significant variations year on year, 2018 saw the lowest number of burglaries for the decade - 16,969," said PhoneWatch managing director Eoin Dunne.

"Data shows the decline continuing, with 4,226 burglaries recorded in the first three months of this year, a 4.6pc drop.

Impact

"While we're seeing a welcome reduction in burglaries in recent years, the reality is it remains all too common.

"By examining the figures over an extended period we can see the true scale and impact.

"The good news is that our research shows Irish householders are taking more steps in recent years to protect their homes, including the installation of monitored alarm systems," he added.

The three garda stations which recorded the highest increases in burglaries between 2009 and 2018 were all in Dublin, with Rathcoole, Skerries and Santry, followed by Mayfield in Cork.

Winter months have traditionally been the worst for burglaries and the analysis backs this up, with November being the highest month for many years, accounting for 11pc of break-ins on average.

Gardai will be shortly beginning their winter phase of Operation Thor which runs from the start of October until the end of March each year and has been hugely successful over the past two years.

The use of 73,000 checkpoints across the country last winter helped gardai in their fight against the gangs and led to a 10pc year-on-year reduction in residential burglaries.

PhoneWatch also commissioned research on the impact of burglary on householders.

Of those surveyed, 52pc said the worst impact was the idea of a stranger being in their home, significantly ahead of the loss of possessions at 29pc.

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