Kieran Foley reports
op thorOPERATION Thor has been hailed a huge success in Waterford and has been credited with achieving significant reductions in criminal activity in the locality.
Operation Thor came into effect across the country last November and targeted organised crime gangs and repeat offenders through co-ordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity.
At the Waterford City & County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting held last week in Dungarvan, Garda figures for the year to date were presented to councillors.
Operation Thor was hailed a huge success in achieving a reduction in the incidences of property crime (theft and related offences including burglary).
In the Waterford Division, there have been 522 such incidents so far in 2016 compared to 720 for the same period in 2015 – a drop of 28 per cent.
“Operation Thor had a very positive effect on figures for property crime,” said Superintendent Chris Delaney.
“This is my ninth year as Superintendent in Waterford and I haven’t’ seen figures as positive as these in nine years.”
He explained that “significant Garda resources” had been directed to Operation Thor, including extra Garda checkpoints and patrols across both the city and county.
In Waterford, Operation Thor included almost 900 checkpoints, more than 900 intelligence reports, 2,364 additional patrols, and 366 curfew checks.
In relation to burglary, there have been 142 such incidents so far this year compared to 220 for the same period in 2015 – a reduction of 35 per cent.
Supt Delaney said there had been a “substantial reduction” in burglaries in Waterford City in particular.
Again, he reiterated that Operation Thor had been “a major contributor” in achieving this reduction.
Supt Delaney said a significant number of people had contacted Gardaí to say they were delighted to see an increased Garda presence in Waterford City and in rural areas as well.
In general, Supt Delaney said that 2016 had already been a very busy time for Gardaí in the Waterford Division who dealt with 6,000 calls – an average of 65 per day.