Gardaí have launched the winter phase of Operation Thor, aimed to combat an expected rise in burglaries during the longer dark nights. Gardaí have said burglaries can increase by up to 20 per cent during winter months, when there is less daylight hours in the evening.
The most common time for burglaries to occur during the winter is between 5pm and 9pm on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, the Garda said.
The statement said since Operation Thor started in 2015 there has been a noticeable drop in burglary rates. So far this year there have been 6,100 reports of homes being burgled, compared with more than 10,000 in 2019.
The plan includes increasing Garda patrols in burglary hot spots, as well as intelligence gathering to target known offenders.
Assistant Commissioner Paul Cleary said: "Residential burglary has a traumatic and often lasting effect on victims. We are especially aware of the need to protect the most vulnerable and older persons who may be fearful of their home being burgled. I want to reassure people that Gardaí nationwide are as determined as ever to target all of the activities of the criminals involved to ensure that we detect crime in advance."
The new operation will focus on five main areas to reduce burglary incidents, including visible focused patrols targeting burglary hot-spots, intelligence gathering on known offenders, and high-visibility checkpoints.
Gardaí will also endeavour to ensure every burglary is appropriately investigated and monitor crime data daily for changes in trends, as well as working with local and national government offering crime prevention advice and reassurance, and keeping victims central to overall operations.
According to gardaí, simple steps to protect your home include turning on lights, using timer switches or motion detectors, locking all doors and windows, using an alarm, and storing keys away from windows.