Crackdown on seasonal retail theft crime in Ireland led by Gardai
A major crime crackdown by Gardai was aimed at stamping out thefts from retail outlets across the country over the Christmas and New Year .
The nationwide operation focused on criminal gangs who target shops in the run up to Christmas and steal items to then sell on the black market.
Ireland’s Justice Minister Helen McTee said: “Retail theft is not a victimless crime, and I welcome this new, nationwide operation targeting organised retail crime.”
She explained: “I know from my engagement with the retail sector across the country, not only about the economic impact of thefts on our retail sector, but also the significant impact this type of crime has on staff retention, recruitment and personal safety.
“Under the National Detection Improvement Plan, An Garda Síochána provide a reliable and effective and consistent response to retail related incidents, and ensure that high visibility and targeted patrols are effectively implemented.
“This helps to provide a safe and unhindered shopping experience for members of the public.”
Under Operation Táirge, Gardaí across the country worked on reducing organised retail crime by identifying those who commit retail crime and disrupting the most prolific gangs engaged in that type of activity.
The police force also worked with retailers to “strengthen their security and prevent them becoming victims of this criminality”, they confirmed this week, while “supporting those working in retail to report a crime”.
ORC typically refers to situations where a number of persons are acting together, targeting retailer outlets to steal significant quantities of goods to resell back into the retail supply chain through the black market, the force confirms.
“It can also involve refund fraud with the purpose of making a financial or material benefit. ORC is usually co-ordinated and well-organised by people who recruit others to commit theft from retailers,” they add.
“The stolen goods are then sold to what is known as a ‘fence’ who then either sells them at a particular location or in some cases may sell them online in an activity known as ‘e-fencing’.”
Ireland’s Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond said: “Operation Táirge will be hugely beneficial for retailers across the country.
“Retail crime has a significant impact not only on retailers’ bottom lines, but also on their employees who deserve a safe workplace.”
He added: “This intelligence-led operation will target the most prolific perpetrators of retail crime. It will support workers and assist businesses in preventing such crime and also act as a deterrent by raising awareness of the consequences of this type of criminality.
“Gardaí are doing vital work in keeping our communities safe and Operation Táirge will play a key role in ensuring our retailers and their staff are protected from organised crime and the harm that it can do to their business.