The focus of An Garda Síochána remains to keep people safe by supporting public health measures to continue to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 on our communities and most vulnerable citizens.
Since the last Garda update on enforcement (19th November 2020) there have been an additional
• 20 alleged breaches of the Health Act 1947
• 22 alleged breaches by licensed Premises (Operation Navigation)
• 21 alleged breaches by Retail Premises (Operation Treoraím)
Where a breach of the Covid-19 Public Health regulations is alleged, An Garda Síochána continue to seek the advices and direction of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as to how to proceed.
An Garda Síochána has now initiated 517 Covid-19 related prosecutions. Covid-19 Enforcement statistics have been updated on the Garda website and are accurate as of up to the 5th December 2020.
An Garda Síochána continues to operate as follows:
• High profile checkpoints (in excess of 100 locations), under Operation Fanacht, on main intercountry routes supported by a schedule of mobile checkpoints
• Static checkpoints operate during off-peak hours – 10am to 4pm, and 7pm to 9pm
• High visibility patrols continue in key city, urban and retail locations in the run-up to Christmas, Garda members liaise closely with retail stakeholders and premises
• High Visibility patrols focused on the night-time economy, gatherings of people in public places and compliance checks on licensed premises under Operation Navigation
• Community engagement activity focused on the vulnerable and those who feel isolated, particularly during Christmas time.
• Continued pro-active investigation of domestic abuse, as well as support for victims under Operation Faoiseamh
Commencing this week, Monday 7th December 2020 Gardai can issue Fixed Charge Notices for breaches of Covid-19 Regulations on mandatory wearing of face coverings.
3 Fixed Charge Notices have been issued since Monday 7th December 2020.
Since the introduction of Regulations on mandatory wearing of face coverings there have been 9 alleged breaches referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and 1 prosecution commenced (up to 5th December 2020).
Where a Garda alleges that there is sufficient evidence to ground a prosecution for a breach of the regulations the member will issue a Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) to the alleged offender through the postal system.
In determining a breach of the Face Covering Regulations, Gardaí will take into account the engagement, or not, by a ‘relevant person’ or ‘responsible person’ as required by the regulations, and any ‘reasonable excuse’ cited by the individual as set out in the relevant Covid-19 regulations.
The wearing of face coverings are mandatory on public transport and in certain premises and businesses.
The wearing of face coverings in other circumstances, including open public spaces, remain public health guidelines and are not covered by public health regulations and not enforceable by An Garda Síochána, however members of the public are encouraged to wear Face Coverings in accordance with all public health guidelines.
Further information on the wearing of face coverings can be found at here at Gov.ie and on Garda.ie
A number of other public health regulations are declared as fixed penalty provisions; these include regulations declared ‘dwelling event’ provisions. Where An Garda Síochána determine possible breaches of these regulations An Garda Síochána will continue to seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions prior to any prosecution commencing.
From the outset in supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, 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.
An Garda Síochána is committed to acting in a proportionate manner and working with the community to achieve compliance.
Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said,
"These figures show high compliance levels from the public during Level 5. We would like to thank the public for this.
"However, while more activities are now allowed under Level 3, it is vital that we don’t become complacent. We all need to wear face masks where appropriate, maintain social distancing, and limit our number of contacts. Along with washing our hands, these are best ways of keeping ourselves, loved ones and neighbours safe so we can have a healthy and happy Christmas.
"An Garda Síochána knows that Christmas can be a difficult and stressful time for some people.
"Over the coming weeks, Gardaí across the country will be actively engaging with people who feel isolated or vulnerable. If you know of anyone who needs assistance with anything or a socially distanced chat, please contact your local Garda station. We are here to help.”
The COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys and limiting social contacts, in order to continue to save lives.
Covid-19 Enforcement statistics have been updated on the Garda website and are accurate as of up to the 5th December 2020. They are available here
A further update on Covid-19 enforcement statistics will be provided after 18th December 2020.
The implementation of Covid-19 Fixed Charge Notices does not involve members of An Garda Síochána issuing fines-on-the-spot e.g.: issuing a ‘ticket’ to members of the public on the street.
For guidance on Fixed Charge Notices please see here