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 and reassure victims that domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, continue to receive the highest priority response for service. We will continue to allocate adequate resources towards crimes against the vulnerable.
An Garda Síochána work closely with 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 Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) and Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSU) are all resources available to respond to these crimes.
Currently there are 245 Garda Members and Staff allocated to the GNPSB and 16 DPSUs nationally to investigate sexual and domestic crimes.
To date An Garda Síochána has recorded a 25% year on year increase in calls for assistance in respect of Domestic related issues between 2019/2020. We encourage the public to report all incidents of domestic abuse, no one need suffer any abuse in a home setting, there are many services available to help those in need.
Operation Faoiseamh, which commenced as part of An Garda Síochána’s community engagement response to COVID-19, was launched on the 1st April 2020, the aim of the Operation is to prevent loss of life and to ensure that victims of domestic abuse were supported and protected during this extraordinary time.
Phase I of Operation Faoiseamh commenced on the 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.
A total of 8,229 contacts or attempts at contact to victims of domestic abuse have been recorded as part of Operation Faoiseamh – Phase I for incidents which have been reported between 1st January 2020 and 25th May 2020. A number of victims used the opportunity presented by the proactive contact to request further assistance from An Garda Síochána and local resources were dispatched accordingly. The feedback from victims has been overwhelmingly positive.
Phase II of Operation Faoiseamh commenced on the 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.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau stated:
"Prior to the commencement of Operation Faoiseamh I assured those victims experiencing domestic abuse that An Garda Síochána were available and willing to assist you in this difficult time. I wish to take this opportunity to re-emphasise our commitment to protecting the vulnerable in our communities. The 107 prosecutions initiated in the last few weeks as part of Operation Faoiseamh should serve as a reminder to all that breaching domestic abuse Court Orders is an offence and can result in Court Proceedings. Victims and those who are aware of abusive domestic circumstances should continue to report to An Garda Síochána.
If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are ‘STILL HERE’ to listen to help and to protect”.