Belfast Telegraph

Rural burglaries crackdown launched

Gardai have launched a special operation targeting the latest surge in burglaries.

The new strategy will focus on urban criminals who are travelling to rural areas to break into homes and businesses.

Code-named Operation Fiacla, it comes on the back of soaring burglary rates in the likes of Meath, Laois, Offaly, Sligo and Leitrim.

It is believed criminals from Dublin and other urban areas are touring the countryside where they strike before returning home.

In Meath alone, there were 1,212 burglaries last year, up 40% since the previous year.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said the increase was a serious concern, and was on the agenda during a police chiefs conference at Templemore Garda college over the past two days.

"We have launched an operation - Operation Fiacla - which will deal with a lot of these issues," he said.

"Particularly travelling criminals, criminals who are transgressing Garda districts and boundaries, and we are putting an effective strategy in place to deal with those."

Mr Callinan said there was already success earlier this week when two men were arrested over more than 20 burglaries.

Two 19-year-olds were detained near Knockmore village in Co Mayo over a spate of burglaries in Co Mayo during the last few weeks.

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