Burglaries could be reaching 'epidemic levels' according to some Gardaí

President of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has spoken of concern regarding funding for Operation Thor which targets criminal gangs.

AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham was speaking on RTÉ Prime Time tonight about gangs carrying out burglaries across the country.

Gerry Gorby was the victim of a recent burglary in Co. Leitrim

Ms Cunningham said, "the concern for the AGSI is, Operation Thor is primarily run from an overtime budget.

"And any policing initiative that relies on an overtime budget is liable to be susceptible if that money is taken away."

Tonight's episode featured footage of the Garda helicopter monitoring high speed chases and the arrest of burglary suspects.

The programme joined Gardaí on patrol in Laois/Offaly where a specialist taskforce has been established to deal with the problem of burglary and to intercept the gangs travelling across the country.

RTÉ Prime Time - Serial Offenders also revealed how a group of locals in County Leitrim recently chased a gang after they broke into a house.

Local publican, Gerry Gorby, disturbed the gang as they ransacked his home in the Newtowngore area of Leitrim earlier this month.

Customers at his pub and some other locals proceeded to chase the getaway car which crashed a short distance from the scene.

"A good gang of lads got out even the local gun club got out with lights, tried to pursue them through the fields for about four hours in all," Mr Gorby told Prime Time.

"They were looking in all the fields around the area to try and get them."

Garda statistics released late last year indicated that burglaries were decreasing but the level of fear felt in many areas does not reflect this.

One interviewee told the programme that some Gardaí feel the issue had reached "epidemic levels".

Digital Desk

Most Read in Ireland