Gardaí warn of increased burglary risk in winter months

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Gardaí are warning homeowners to be on guard against burglary this winter, when longer nights typically bring a spike in offences.

Burglary offences can go up by as much as 20% during the winter months according to An Garda Síochána, when daylight hours are their lowest level.

Advice to homeowners cautions that, during winter, burglaries are more likely to occur between 4pm to 9pm, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday as the most likely days to be burgled.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said that a burglary in someone’s home can have a “particularly devastating” impact on its victims.

“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.”

The Winter Phase of Operation Thor will focus on reducing burglary incidents, through targeted enforcement and preventative activity, to March of next year.

Gardaí say that this operation has resulted in a reduction in the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property related crime since its introduction in 2015.

Official Crime statistics continue to show a reduction in Burglary and related offences in 2020 (down by 5,810, or 34.7%) compared to 2019.

This downward trend continues in 2021, with official crime statistics for Q2 2021 showing a continuing reduction in Burglary and related offences (down by 5,349, or 37.2%) compared to Q2 2020.

This could be an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people have been spending far more time at home over the past year and half, both in the day and in the evenings.

Simple steps that can help protect your home from burglary include turning on some lights, using timer switches for lights, lock all doors and windows, use an alarm, store keys away from windows, and don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.