Since the 28th October 2020, 110 prosecutions, specifically related to investigations under Operation Faoiseamh – Phase III, have commenced for breaches of orders issued under the Domestic Violence Act 2018.
Since the commencement of Operation Faoiseamh on the 1st April 2020, 217 prosecutions, directly attributable to Garda activity under Operation Faoiseamh, have commenced for breaches of orders issued under the Domestic Violence Act 2018.
20,699 contacts or attempts at contacting victims of domestic abuse have been recorded in the course of Operation Faoiseamh in respect of relevant incidents reported between 1st January 2020 and 12th October 2020.
An Garda Síochána has recorded a 17% year on year increase to date in calls for assistance in respect of Domestic related issues between 2019/2020.
Operation Faoiseamh, is an initiative undertaken by the Garda Síochána for the purpose of providing enhanced proactive support to victims of domestic abuse while restriction on movement of people associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, are in place. The Operation commenced on 1st April 2020 and will continue over the Christmas holiday period and thereafter while restrictions of movement are in place.
An Garda Síochána continues to treat all instances of Domestic Abuse as a priority and wishes to take this opportunity to once again re-enforce its commitment to keep people safe, and in particular the victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The vulnerable and victims of abuse, will continue to receive the highest priority response from An Garda Síochána.
The Garda National Protective Service Bureau (GNPSB) is overseeing the implementation of this proactive initiative, which was launched with the aim of ensuring that victims of domestic abuse were supported and protected during this extraordinary time.
An Garda Síochána continues to liaise with and support our partners in State and non-State Agencies to facilitate continuity in respect of access to support services and Courts Services. A great deal of work and planning has gone into maintaining our business continuity and that plan continues to robustly hold firm. Frontline Gardaí, the GNPSB and Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSU), now operational in every Garda division, are all resources available to respond to these crimes.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau stated;
"Through our community engagement response to Covid-19, Operation Faoiseamh has protected victims, provided comfort and assurance to those victims experiencing domestic abuse. An Garda Síochána are mindful of the fear and concern some in our community have during Covid restrictions. We continue to robustly provide assistance and support to victims of Domestic Abuse, and to all vulnerable victims. An Garda Síochána will continue to ensure your safety and I encourage anyone who feels threatened or is in fear to contact us and we will respond quickly and vigorously.
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 I 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”.
An Garda Síochána was recognised by the Civil Service Excellence & Innovation Recognition Event, under the ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ category, in respect of Operation Faoiseamh during a virtual recognition event held on the 26th November 2020 to formally showcase and recognise initiatives that have been developed in response to the Covid 19 crisis in a challenging environment.
Phase I of Operation Faoiseamh commenced on 1st April 2020 and involved the utilisation of Garda Victim Liaison Offices, Divisional Protective Service Units and other appropriate resources to reach out and make contact with victims of Domestic Abuse with a view to ascertaining any existing issues of concern, to offer support and reassurance and to ensure that any issues identified were dealt with swiftly and decisively.
Phase II of Operation Faoiseamh commenced on 13th May 2020 and concentrated on the execution of arrests and the commencement of prosecutions for offences relating to breaches of court orders obtained pursuant to relevant provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2018. Between the 13th May 2020 and the 27th May 2020, a total of 107 prosecutions connected to Operation Faoiseamh – Phase II have been reported to GNPSB as having being commenced.
Phase III of Operation Faoiseamh commenced on 28th October 2020 and since then An Garda Síochána has continued to reach out and make contact with victims to provide reassurance, support and to offer the assistance of local and specialised resources.
A number of victims used the opportunity presented by such contact to request further assistance from An Garda Síochána, which was provided, at a local level. Also, in the period since 28th October 2020, the Garda Síochána has engaged in enhanced activity designed to achieve increased level of arrest and bring before the courts those offenders who have breached domestic violence legislation and in particular Court Orders obtained under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2018.
An Garda Síochána is determined to ensure that incidents in relation to such breaches are dealt with swiftly and decisively and that offenders are arrested and brought before the courts at the earliest opportunity.