COVID-19: Gardaí report high
compliance by public
IN supporting the
public health guidelines , An Garda Síochána has
adopted a graduated policing response based on its
tradition of policing by consent. This has seen
Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last
An Garda Síochána continues to experience a high
level of compliance with the public health
guidelines at the checkpoints and high visibility
patrols it is conducting at tourist locations,
natural beauty spots, parks and beaches.
During this time, Gardaí have interacted with
hundreds of thousands of people. The vast majority
were adhering to the public health guidelines.
In a small number of
cases, despite receiving a number of warnings, some
individuals did not adhere to the guidelines and the
regulations were enforced. From the 8th of April,
which was when the regulations came into effect,
until 18th of April 2020 inclusive, Gardaí have
invoked the regulations 34 times.
As per Garda policy in relation to the regulations,
in all cases where arrests were made under the
regulations, Gardaí consulted with the Director of
Public Prosecutions on the decision to charge. Some
of these incidents are already before the courts.
In addition, there were 405 COVID-19 related
incidents that started as potential breaches of the
regulations, but during the incidents other offences
were disclosed. As such, long-standing legislation
for offences such as public order, assault, road
traffic, and drugs was used instead. This included
incidents involving house/street parties, gatherings
beyond the family unit, and non-essential travel.
Commissioner Drew Harris said, "An Garda Síochána’s
role is to keep people safe through community
engagement, particularly with the vulnerable, and
our tradition of policing by consent."
"In that spirit, Gardaí are engaging with a large
amount of people every day and in the vast majority
of cases they are complying with the public health
guidelines. It is vital this continues because it
will help save lives. I want to thank the public for
this and also the great support they are giving to
our members every day."