WEST Cork gardaí arrested 13 people, searched six premises and seized one vehicle as part of the Operation Thor Day of Action last week.
The purpose of the operation, held on Wednesday May 16th, was to prevent crime, disrupt criminal activity, apprehend criminals and to enhance community engagement.
The operation included multi-agency checkpoints consisting of gardaí and officials from Revenue, the Road Safety Authority and Social Welfare.
The 13 arrests were made for burglary, theft, fraud, drugs offences and drink driving. A total of €250 worth of drugs (pending analysis) was also seized, while numerous offences were detected under the Road Traffic Acts.
A total of 17 people were charged on the day in connection with ongoing investigations and will appear before the District Court in the coming weeks.
As part of the day, multi-agency checkpoints at Ballylickey, Farran and Ballinhassig were mounted, where the Department of Social Protection carried out 150 inspections on persons. The Road Safety Authority inspected 28 HGVS, and Customs and Revenue completed 80 diesel dips.
As part of the day of action, hi-viz jackets and information leaflets were handed out, and the public was asked to take the ‘Home Security Checklist Challenge’.
Speaking at Bandon Garda Station, crime prevention officer Ian O’Callaghan said the Challenge was also available at garda.ie. ‘There are a few simple tips that could make your home more secure such as secure all doors and windows, light up your home, use timer switches when out, store keys safely and away from windows and use your alarm, even when at home. I would also ask that people keep a record of all valuables and to mark property if possible, so we can identify the owner if it is recovered.’
Sgt O’Callaghan added: ‘I would also ask people to be aware of seasonal crimes at this time of year, such as break-ins to vehicles, so never leave valuables on display at any location and always lock your vehicles, including outside your home. Boat owners are reminded of the importance of protecting their outboard engines, remove from water if possible when unattended, mark same and consider tracking devices.’
The references to outboard engines are particularly relevant to West Cork, as a number of these have been taken in organised operations in recent years, especially during the summer season. Several community groups on Mizen have a property marking scheme in operation.