Clocks go back tonight; Gardaí warn of burglary risk on long winter nights

There is traditionally an increase in property-related crime in the winter months. 
Clocks go back tonight; Gardaí warn of burglary risk on long winter nights

Cara O'Sullivan, 2, Whitechurch, reminding us to put our clocks and watches back one hour this weekend. Picture: Denis Minihane.

With the clocks going back tonight and and the long winter evenings ahead, Gardaí are reminding the public of the importance of safeguarding property. 

International evidence details that there is traditionally an increase in property-related crime of up to 20% in the winter months, when daylight hours are at the lowest level.

An Garda Síochána commenced the Winter Phase of Operation Thor, which is designed to tackle the anticipated increase in the number of burglaries and associated criminal activity that usually occur in winter months by undertaking targeted enforcement and preventative activity, on October 1. It will run until the end of March 2022.

"A residential Burglary has a particularly devastating effect on its victims," Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll with responsibility for Organised & Serious Crime said. "Through the winter phase of Operation Thor An Garda Síochána continues to focus efforts on interrupting and preventing burglary and related crime and to impact on the activities of criminals involved in the commission of this crime.”

Simple tips Gardaí suggest are turn on some lights, use timer switches, lock all doors and windows, use an alarm and store keys away from windows. 

Cara O'Sullivan is all ready for the clocks to go back.
Cara O'Sullivan is all ready for the clocks to go back.

Gardaí also advise against keeping large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house. 

Operation Thor Winter Phase will continue to focus on a number of main areas to reduce burglary incidents and protect communities.

Gardaí intend to work on crime prevention by means of visible focused patrols at specific times of day, targeting burglary ‘hot-spots’, intelligence gathering on known offenders, high-visibility checkpoints to prevent ease of movement, strong crime prevention communications and reassurance with communities.

The force has committed to ensuring every burglary is appropriately investigated to the highest possible standard, monitoring crime data daily for changes in trends of burglaries, associated crimes and detection rates. And utilising all intelligence data to inform burglary prevention strategies.

Gardaí said they will continue to work with all partner agencies in local and national Government and in particular with communities by means of offering crime prevention advice and reassurance of the availability of An Garda Síochána.

Gardaí also intend to focus on education and awareness by the use of community policing strategies to interact with young people and work to divert them from involvement in crime.

An Garda Síochána will continue to utilise social media, community engagement and organised campaigns to inform people on how they can enhance the security of their homes and property and will continue the national ‘Lock Up/Light Up’ campaign supported by local awareness activity.

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