Gardaí are mounting high-visibility checkpoints and patrols in burglary hot-spots identified in Cork.
It follows a detailed analysis of burglary figures for the last three years which found that Ballincollig, Little Island, Grange, Glanmire, Ballyvolane and Carrigaline have been targeted by criminals.
The analysis also showed that almost a fifth of all burglaries in the Cork city garda division (18.7%) occurred between 7pm and 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights during the winter months.
Sgt Tony Davis, the Crime Prevention Officer in the Cork City garda division, said they are using the data to target garda resources, including uniformed officers, the armed regional support unit and traffic corps as part of Operation Thor in the hope of intercepting would-be burglars.
One of those targeted operations led to the arrest of a man at a checkpoint near Midleton last weekend after gardaí found a balaclava and house-breaking implements in his car.
Sgt Davis was speaking after a meeting of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee this week which heard that property crime, which includes burglary, is down 7% overall in the division for the first 10-months of the year, compared to the same period last year.
Chief Supt Barry McPolin said reported burglary incidents are down 9% from 476 to 434 and aggravated burglary is down 33%, from nine to six reported case.
However, garda figures also show that theft of a vehicle is up 10% from 209 to 230; theft from a vehicle is up 4% from 445 to 462; theft of a bike is up 9% from 227 to 248; and theft from a shop is up 16% from 1,347 to 1,561.
Supt McPolin said gardaí mounted a “targeted and strategic response” following a spike in car thefts earlier this year, which has resulted in several court appearances.
But he added: “We are not finished yet – there are other people of interest to us.”
He urged members of the public to alert gardaí to suspicious activity, including suspicious movements of cars or vans in their localities.
“The members of the public are our eyes and ears on the ground,” he said.
Sgt Davis said people can also take simple steps to thwart burglars, such as setting house or business alarms, or leaving lights on when they leave the premises.
“The devastation a burglary causes is dreadful. It takes away your confidence. I would encourage people not to be afraid to contact gardaí about any suspicious activity. What is suspicious activity? It’s whatever your instinct tells you,” he said.
Meanwhile, a man in his 20s has been charged in connection with two burglaries at the same premises two nights in a row in West Cork.
The burglaries at the Ocean View dance hall in Cregane, Rosscarbery, occurred in the early hours of Monday and Tuesday mornings when a burglar gained entry through the rear of the premises and took items of stock.
The man was arrested at around 5pm on Tuesday, quizzed at Clonakilty Garda Station and later charged, before being released on bail, to appear before the courts at a later date.