02 November 2015

Fitzgerald welcomes Operation Thor – new Anti-Crime and Burglary response by An Garda Síochána

Local TD Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice and Equality, has today attended at Garda Headquarters for the launch of Operation Thor, An Garda Síochána's new multi-strand national anti-crime and anti-burglary operation.

Operation Thor has been in the planning by An Garda Síochána for several months and is being launched following recent announcements regarding investment in policing.

Minister Fitzgerald stated:"Operation Thor delivers on increased investment in policing by this Government to tackle burglaries and related crime.

“While operational planning is a matter solely for the Garda Commissioner, this new operation delivers on increased investment in policing by this Government to tackle burglaries and related crime.

“Operation Thor builds on previous and current Garda operations and is aimed at tackling burglars, organised crime gangs and prolific offenders as well as working with communities to prevent crime. These include:

·        Extra high-visibility patrols in identified burglary hot-spots;
·        Increased used of checkpoints to tackle the criminal gangs using the national road network;
·        The use of new high powered vehicles by the armed Regional Response Units;
·        Efforts to disrupt the stolen goods market;
·        Programmes to help reduce re-offending by prolific offenders;
·        A high-profile national crime prevention awareness campaign to be launched later this month;
·        Targeted crime prevention advice for local communities;
·        Enhanced supports for victims."

Welcoming the launch of the new Operation, Minister Fitzgerald stated:  "We are all acutely aware of the terrible impact that burglaries have on families and communities throughout our communities.

“This Government’s response to crime is focussed on two key objectives: investing in more Gardaí and vehicles; and strengthening the law to get tougher on serious and repeat offenders.”

Fitzgerald stated: “This Government has ended the moratorium on Garda recruitment, with 1,150 Gardaí being recruited. We have invested over €34 million in new Garda vehicles since 2012 with over 640 new vehicles coming on stream in 2015, ranging from more Garda patrol cars to high-powered vehicles for armed units. This will ensure Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive, on the roads and in the community. We are also investing in airborne surveillance and enhanced technology and ICT systems.”

“In addition, I can today confirm a further allocation; in excess of €5 million is being committed to support Operation Thor. This allocation, which includes funding for Garda overtime will support a combination of additional patrols, checkpoints, rapid armed response and public awareness measures.

“I am confident that this comprehensive operation by An Garda Síochána, supported by Government investment, will help disrupt the activities of burglars, organised crime gangs and prolific offenders and will improve the safety for people throughout Lucan, Clondalkin, Saggart, Rathcoole, Newcastle, Brittas and Palmerstown.