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New Retail Theft Initiative Launched By Gardaí

By Lucy Leiriao
New Retail Theft Initiative Launched By Gardaí

According to an article recently published by RTÉ, An Garda Síochána has launched an initiative aimed at tackling the increasing levels of retail theft and organised retail crime across the country, following a 14% increase so far this year.

According to the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, retail theft costs the sector €1.6 billion every year, and the Global Retail Theft Barometer report shows that Ireland has the highest per-capita cost thereof, at €339.31.

Operation Táirge

Modelled on Operation Thor, which targeted burglaries, Operation Táirge will use an intelligence-led approach to identify criminals involved in retail crime, including a reporting tool to direct Gardaí towards theft hotspots around the country and help identify prolific offenders.

Operation Táirge aims to identify and target areas where organised retail crime black markets operate, as well as disrupt gangs involved in retail theft, including international groups temporarily coming into the country to carry out coordinated thefts from retailers.


The nationwide operation will also provide support to retailers – to improve their security, prevent them from becoming victims, and encourage them to report crime that takes place on their premises.

Rigour And Response

Launching the operation, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that retail crime is not a victimless one, as it impacts those concerned both financially and psychologically, and it can affect recruitment, retention, and the personal safety of those working in the industry.

“That is why we are [here], to make sure that you, as retailers, have the support that you need, but also, we are determined to make sure that those who are responsible for these crimes […] are held accountable for their actions,” McEntee said.

She said that it is hoped that Operation Táirge will prove as successful as Operation Thor, and that those who are the most prolific offenders will face the full rigour of the law, and that Gardaí have the tools to respond.


Collaborative Approach

Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman said that there had been a collaborative approach between the retail sector and An Garda Síochána to share information across the country, and that the initiative had been borne out of engagement at the Garda Retail Theft Forum.

Padraic Jones, Chief Superintendent of the Garda National Community Engagement Bureau, said that this initiative will allow information on trends from retailers to be added to information gathered during policing incidents.

The initiative is about raising awareness with the public and retail sector, as this is a crime type that the Gardaí are taking seriously, according to Jones.

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