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Rate of break-ins plummet by more than a third in Northern Ireland

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 25/10/2016

Domestic burglaries are decreasing
Domestic burglaries are decreasing
Domestic burglaries are decreasing

A police crackdown has led to a 37% drop in the number of reported burglaries in Northern Ireland.

Operation Cordella ran for a two-week period between September 26 and October 9.

It was a follow-up to an earlier campaign last February and March. Figures show a 37% decrease in overall domestic burglary - from 281 last year to 177 this year.

Incidents involving elderly people also fell, with the number of domestic burglaries affecting people over 60 years of age falling by 13.9% to 56 - down from 65.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said there has been a long-term reduction in burglaries. "Our focused period of enforcement activity has once again reduced the incidence of burglaries," he said.

"Indeed, over the last two years domestic burglaries have shown a downwards trend. Non-domestic burglaries have also been decreasing over that period.

"While this is welcome news and evidence of effective police activity, we are not complacent.

"We have worked to focus our resources on locations and individuals and to raise awareness in communities about how people can prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime and keep their property safe."

During the two-week operation, police arrested 42 suspects and conducted 27 searches.

A total of 64 charges or reports to the Public Prosecution Service resulted from police investigations over this period.

The two-week campaign involved mounting vehicle checkpoints, conducting searches at premises of interest, deploying cash sniffer dogs and providing advice and information to householders and business owners on how to secure their premises.

Provisional PSNI figures indicate there have been 8,042 burglaries at both domestic and business premises between September 1, 2015, and the end of August. This is a decrease of 11.7% on the same period the previous year when 9,110 burglaries were recorded.

Police say businesses can reduce the chances of being targeted by burglars by adopting crime prevention measures. These include making sure everything is locked and installing an alarm, which can act as a deterrent.

Businesses should also ensure stock is kept to a minimum and locked away in a secure room, and that staff are trained in burglary prevention.

Mr Walls added: "Any measure which businesspeople can put in place to protect their property and livelihood is a good investment. Local crime prevention officers can also be contacted for further advice.

"The outcome rate for all burglaries is running at 10.4% which is a slight decrease (0.3%) on last year. This is slightly disappointing but we will continue to work to improve this outcome rate through a combination of focused patrolling, prevention activity and rigorous investigative action."

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