Gardaí have said residential burglaries in the winter period decreased by more than 21%.

New garda figures released today also show a reduction in burglaries last winter when compared to last summer, the first such recorded reduction.

The officer in charge of organised and serious crime said the reduction is the result of Operation Thor, established seven years ago to target mobile burglary gangs.

Operation Thor was set up in November 2015 to target violent mobile burglary gangs using the motorway network to target businesses and homes all over the country.

Since then, gardaí said the crime of burglary has been trending downwards.

Almost 3,000 homes were burgled last winter, but gardaí said this figure represents a 2.8% reduction when compared to the previous summer and a 21.6% decrease in residential burglaries year on year.

Residential burglary tends to be higher in winter and this is the first recorded reduction in winter.

Gardaí have described it as "small but significant".

More than 950 people were arrested, more than 1,200 searches were carried out and over 1,400 charges were issued.

Gardaí also said they set up over 22,000 checkpoints and carried out over 133,000 patrols as part of the operation.

In the 12 months to March 2023, there was a 7% decrease in reported residential burglary compared with the previous 12 months.

Garda head of Organised and Serious Crime Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly said the reduction in burglaries was "a major development in keeping people safe and ensuring that citizens feel safe in their own homes".

Assistant Commissioner Kelly said gardaí would continue to target individuals and gangs involved in burglary, particularly those who "attempt to use the motorway network to benefit their criminal activities".