An Garda Síochána will at midnight, Friday 18th September, recommence Operation Fanacht in Dublin city and county.
The Government on the advice of NPHET are requesting the people of county Dublin to adhere to increased public health measures that are being applied to stop the spread of COVID-19. Operation Fanacht is focused on supporting public compliance with these public health measures following the announcement by An Taoiseach today that Dublin is now at level 3 of the Government’s Plan for Living with COVID-19.
Operation Fanacht will see a high level of visibility of An Garda Síochána members in Dublin City and County on foot, in car and on bike, to support the public health guidelines, particularly in relation to social distancing and gathering in large groups at amenities and open spaces. Targeted Garda Checkpoints will be established throughout the county. An Garda Síochána wants to remind everyone that people are being encouraged not to travel out of or into Dublin County unless absolutely necessary.
Garda activity in Dublin will be supplemented by Garda personnel from the surrounding counties which will focus on patrols of destination public amenities and open spaces. This activity will consist of targeted patrols and checkpoints to check compliance with Public Health Regulations.
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, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
In respect of regulations, including travel restrictions, which are not declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, under Operation Fanacht An Garda Síochána will use the approach of the three E’s which will see Gardaí engage, educate and encourage, only, compliance with travel regulations.
Operation Navigation, which focuses on compliance with public health regulations by licensed premises, will continue nationwide, and An Garda Síochána will enforce Penal Regulations. Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case.
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, "As a community we all need to come together to once again protect ourselves and our most vulnerable. It is vital that every person plays their part and adheres to the public health regulations and guidelines to reduce the increasing spread of COVID-19. An Garda Síochána will do its part in ‘Keeping people Safe’. Operation Fanacht is intended to work with communities to support Government and Public Health Guidelines”.
Deputy Commissioner Twomey also took the opportunity to remind the public "Local Gardaí are here to support individuals and local communities, in particular the most vulnerable in our society during this time. If you are feeling isolated or need help with shopping, collecting your prescription or anything else similar, please contact your local Garda station”.
Deputy Commissioner Twomey went on to say "An Garda Síochána is fully aware of the impact increased restrictions may have on those who are subject to Domestic abuse and do not feel safe in their homes. An Garda Síochána takes domestic abuse very seriously. If you are in danger call 999 at any time. If you feel you are not in immediate danger and you require advice and assistance, you can visit or call your local Garda Station and ask to speak with a Garda in private. If you know of someone who cannot speak for themselves please contact your local Garda station.”
An Garda Síochána wants to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the basic ways to protect yourself:
• wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
• practise good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
– discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
• maintain physical distancing, that is, leave at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever
• avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself
• Reduce your social interactions