Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Jim O’Callaghan has said that reports of a surge in burglaries in cities and towns during the COVID-19 crisis is concerning.

Gardaí have reported a strong increase in burglaries in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford in the past number of weeks.

Deputy O’Callaghan said: “Gardai have reported a recent increase in crime in cities. Gardai believe that the checkpoints established as part of Operation Fanacht have interrupted the movement of criminal gangs who target rural areas close to the motorway. Commercial premises have now become target areas. I would strongly urge communities to remain vigilant of suspicious activity during these testing times.

“Gardaí have seen criminals targeting homes while families exercise or go shopping during Covid-19 lockdowns. All of us must ensure that elderly people who may become targets are looked after during the emergency. This can be done by phoning the elderly person or asking the local postman to check on them while delivering mail.

“We need community support to assist the gardaí in stopping and investigating these crimes to make sure that those responsible are brought to justice,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan