Over 9,000 arrests in crime crackdown under Operation Thor

By Elaine Loughlin
Political Correspondent

There have been more than 9,000 arrests and almost 11,000 charges made since Operation Thor was set up to tackle rural burglaries.

Commending the gardaí for their "tireless work" in combatting residential, business and farm thefts, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said Operation Thor has proved "very effective" in tackling crime across the country.

Gardaí have made 9,290 arrests, covering a range of offences which, in addition to burglary, include handling stolen property, possession of firearms and drugs offences between November 2015 and January of this year.

Figures released to Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy show that there have also been 10,662 charges and 34,720 searches carried out. A total of 273,355 Operation Thor patrols have taken place and 177,488 checkpoints set up.

The most recent CSO crime statistics published for the third quarter of 2018 indicate that burglary, theft-related offences and damage to property incidents were down 6.4% in a 12-month period.

"It is also worth noting that while the full year figures for 2018 are due to be published by the CSO in the near future, incidents of burglary and related offences went from 26,301 at the end of 2015 to 19,119 in 2017, a decrease of 27%. This decrease coincided with the introduction of Operation Thor," a spokesperson for the Department of Justice said.

Mr Flanagan believes Operation Thor has had a positive impact on the number of burglaries and other crimes committed here with the spokesperson saying the Minister wanted to commend gardaí for their tireless work in contributing to the operation's success.

Gardaí are this year continuing to organise targeted days of action aimed at preventing crime, disrupting criminal activity and enhancing community engagement.

Officers arrested 29 people in Cork on February 20 as part of the Operation Thor day of action there. There was €12,600 worth of suspected cannabis herb, cannabis resin, ecstasy and heroin seized on the day.

Between February 11 and 13 a total of 30 people were arrested as part of Operation Thor's 'Project Storm' in Co Kilkenny.

Gardaí arrested 12 people as part of another crackdown in Tralee, Co Kerry earlier this month.

The operation was part of an investigation into a spate of recent break-ins and public order incidents as well as drug offences in the area.

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