As fears gather for a winter blitz of burglary in rural areas, one part of The Avondhu readership area is taking on the gangs, head on.
Gardaí in Tipperary have established a Burglary Response Unit (BRU) which will be active during the coming months to take on the callous thieves as part of their Operation Thor initiative.
As part of the winter phase of Operation Thor, a total of ten Gardaí will be seconded to the Burglary Response Unit (BRU) on a full-time basis within the five Garda Districts of Tipperary.
Two Gardaí from each District will be deployed at times and locations identified as ‘hot-spots’ by the Garda Síochána Analysis Services.
Each proactive BRU will also have a dedicated Garda vehicle which will allow them to cover vast parts of the country on patrol.
The operation will see a coordinated anti-crime operation in the Tipperary Division utilising high visibility checkpoints and patrols, supported by Roads Policing Unit, Armed Support Unit, Detective Branch and Regular Units.
Chief Superintendent Derek Smart said that the operation is designed to prevent, intercept and detect offenders committing crimes such as burglaries and thefts.
“Since the establishment of Operation Thor in 2015, significant progress has been made in the reduction of burglary and property-related crime within the Tipperary Division.
“The hard work and dedication of Tipperary Gardaí has reaped dividends in the reduction in burglary offences and in property crime offences.
“It is imperative that as we move into the winter months in the lead up to Christmas that a reinvigorated, focused and coordinated approach is now implemented across the Division to prevent escalation in property crime across Tipperary, as well as to reduce the occurrences of property crime. Hopefully, these ten Gardaí assigned to the Burglary Response Unit can do just that,” the Chief Superintendent said.
‘LOCK UP & LIGHT UP’
Crime Prevention Officer for the Tipperary Division, Sergeant Tom O’Dwyer said advising people of the dangers of burglary gangs and how to prevent the crime will also form part of the strategy.
“In addition to the Burglary Response Unit, we all need to do our part in preventing crime this winter,” he added.
“Our message is simple, we need to lock up and light up. This can help protect your home, so whether you are at home or going out remember to turn on some lights, use timer switches, lock all doors and windows and set your alarm.
“Also remember to store keys away from windows and don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in your home.
“At our checkpoints we will be handing out as much crime prevention advice as possible but if you have any concerns about home safety, pick up the phone and call your local Garda Station.”
The proactive Tipperary strategy comes as a as Garda Dean Kerins, a County Meath based crime prevention officer warned that farmyards are akin to supermarkets for criminals.
“These people will take advantage of anything not secured down. Locally, a John Deere tractor was stolen a couple of weeks back with consistent reports of attempted machinery theft,” Garda Kerins said.
“Farmers need to take the temptation away and improve the security in their yards. These security measures don’t have to be very expensive, common sense is the most valuable precaution you can use.”
“The best measures to take to secure your farm is install cameras, sensor lights and have strong secure gates at the entry to your farmyard.
“These small investments might seem expensive, but replacing stolen property will cost you much more.”