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special policing plan Man savagely beaten in face with hurl in burglary as garda clampdown begins

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Officers in one of Ireland’s largest garda divisions have set up a special policing plan involving undercover gardaí and overt checkpoints to tackle an expected winter surge in burglaries.

Officers in the Wexford/Wicklow Division have been allocated eight specialist officers to focus on targeted burglary prevention in the two counties.

“This is about high visibility uniform policing involving check points in high risk areas but also about plain clothes operations in which gangs coming into this area are being monitored in a discreet way,” a senior source said.

Gardaí attached to the Co Wexford burglary response unit had a major success recently when investigating around a dozen burglaries in the Gorey area in late August and early September.

The officers searched a location in the Shankill area of south Dublin and made four arrests while also recovering some of the stolen property including jewellery and tools which had been stolen during the spate of robberies in north Co Wexford.

“There will be more of these searches in the near future. There is an expected rise in burglaries and a plan is in place,” the source said.

There has been an increase in aggravated burglaries nationwide in recent weeks and officers in the division have been investigating a number of incidents of home intrusions including a bizarre burglary in Greystones, Co Wicklow, in which the alleged culprit was apprehended by quick acting local officers.

While the details of this incident cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, gardaí in the division are satisfied they have identified the chief suspect for an unrelated traumatic aggravated burglary in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Shortly after midnight last Friday a man armed with either “a bat or a hurl” entered the home of a respected couple aged in their 60s and attacked the male occupant when he heard a noise in the property.

The man needed hospital treatment for his facial injuries while his female partner was also assaulted when the burglar fled their house through the front door.

“Thankfully the injuries that this man received were not life threatening but he was struck in the head with a serious implement – he had severe bruising and swelling over his eye and required hospital treatment.

“This was a couple who were getting ready to go to bed a
nd they were confronted by this.

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“They did not deserve a man unknown to them breaking into their home,” the source added.

Within minutes of being alerted to the aggravated
burglary gardaí from Enniscorthy arrested the suspected in the case who is a local petty criminal not linked to the wider organised burglary gangs.

The suspect, who is aged in his 20s, was questioned and released without charge with a file now being prepared for the DPP pending analysis by garda forensic specialists.

Last month it was revealed by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that there was a 37pc decrease in burglary offences and a 22pc drop in thefts while robberies are down 21pc compared to the previous year to June.

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