LEVEL 5: Gardai announce extra checkpoints to urge public to comply with strict public health measures

Stay Home, Stay Safe

Leinster Express Reporter

Reporter:

Leinster Express Reporter

Louth gardai urge the public to flatten the current Covid-19 curve

Gardai will start static checkpoints on national routes from 7am tomorrow.

An Garda Síochána is to introduce a range of additional measures to support the Government’s Level 5 Plan for Living with COVID-19 as announced today.

An Garda Síochána is supporting communities through engagement and ensuring adherence to public health regulations.

The measures announced today include:

- Additional static checkpoints on national routes under Operation Fanacht. These will start from 7am tomorrow and will be supported by the local mobile checkpoints introduced last week.
- Additional re-deployment of Gardaí to the front-line
- 70 Garda trainees currently deployed in training Garda stations, will be attested on successful completion of their initial phase one training
- 60 Garda reserves who have successfully completed their training will be attested

Speaking today Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Policing and Security said, "Keeping people safe during this pandemic has been An Garda Síochána's number one priority. The measures announced today will further support that work. The additional checkpoints combined with high visibility patrolling in key locations will help Government and societal efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"We all have a role to play in tackling the pandemic. To date, there has been widespread compliance with public health advice and regulations. Now, more than ever, we all need to adhere to the public health advice. Stay home. Please only make essential journeys. Minimise the amount of people you meet. Wear a face mask. Maintain social distancing. Wash your hands.

"This is a difficult time for people, particularly those who feel vulnerable or isolated. An Garda Síochána continues to be here to help. Gardaí around the country have been helping people with everyday tasks like collecting prescriptions and doing shopping, and are also available to stop by for a socially distanced chat. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact your local Garda station."

The public are reminded that the Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020 are currently in force.  Regulation 4 states, inter alia, ‘an applicable person shall not leave his or her place of residence without reasonable excuse’.  This is a Penal Regulation and is enforceable.

An Garda Síochána will be recommencing static checkpoints under Operation Fanacht from 7am tomorrow.  These will be on national routes (not motorways) supported by random local mobile checkpoints designed to support the Stay Home/ Stay Safe message.

An Garda Síochána will also be engaged in high visibility patrolling of key locations such as public amenities, scenic areas and parks.

While it is as important as ever for members of the public to avail of exercise and get fresh air, in accordance with Public Health Regulations, exercise can only be availed of ‘within a 5 kilometre radius of the person’s place of residence’.

If public amenities are crowded, public health advice is to avoid crowded areas.

If parking facilities at such locations are closed, please do not park illegally as this can hinder access by emergency services. An Garda Síochána will be patrolling these locations and will enforce parking regulations. 

An Garda Síochána will continue to investigate any alleged breaches of Public Health regulations under Operation Navigation (Licensed Premises) and Operation Treoraim (Non Essential Retail).  Where members of the public are concerned about these activities they can contact their local Garda station.

An Garda Síochána understands that the move to increased restrictions will increase the anxiety and fear felt by those who may be victims of domestic abuse.  An Garda Síochána is here to help.  Victims of domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, will continue to receive highest priority response for service under Operation Faoiseamh.

Travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.

If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and we ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect.

If you are unable to make phone contact please approach any member of An Garda Síochána on duty, on patrol, on a checkpoint and look for assistance, we are here to help.

Policing the Covid-19 Pandemic is the organisational priority for all Garda personnel

The contingency roster introduced at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 remains in place

• Garda resources will be maximised on outdoor duties
• The Garda College will remain closed, except for limited essential training, until further notice and those resources will remain deployed in local communities
• A further re-deployment of Uniform Personnel from non-operational office duties to front line operational duties will take place over the coming days
• Garda trainees, currently deployed in training Garda stations, will be attested on successful completion of their initial phase one training
• Garda reserves who have successfully completed their training will be attested, All Garda reserves will be utilised to their fullest capacity
• An Garda Síochána will increase segregation and decentralisation of units to form smaller independent ‘bubbles’ to ensure ongoing resilience
• National Garda investigative Units under Organised and Serious Crime will continue in their role in the prevention and detection of the most invidious crimes that affect our communities and target Organised Crime Groups attempting to utilise the Covid-19 Pandemic for financial gain
In supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Garda members engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

Some Court outcomes of previous Garda enforcement activity are highlighted below:

• Co. Cavan, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €150 fine
• Co. Kildare, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €250 fine following appeal
• Co. Sligo, 2 Males found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, Both €300 fine
• Co Dublin, Male in breach of Covid Regulations directed to return home, observed still in breach of regulations at same location 2 hours later, €350 fine 
• Co. Tipperary, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €400 fine
• Co Meath, 2 males in breach of Health Regulations at a Domestic house, both €1000 fine
• Co. Dublin, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, 30 days imprisonment
• Co. Leitrim, Male found in Breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, 2 months Imprisonment
• Co. Meath, Female found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, non-resident at property, 4 months imprisonment