132 checkpoints a day as Garda enforce Level 3 restrictions

ireland
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UPDATED: 4.10pm

Gardaí are to recommence Operation Fanacht nationwide from midnight tonight in line with the Government's decision to move the country to Level 3 of the

Living with Covid plan.

Funding for Garda overtime has been secured, with the operation involving "132 large-scale checkpoints a day on main arterial routes around the country in addition to thousands of mobile checkpoints on secondary routes in towns and villages a week".

Speaking today, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris insisting that Gardaí do not need additional powers to police the restrictions.

"Since the start of the pandemic, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing approach based on its tradition of consent. We have seen compliance by the vast majority of the public with this approach. Independent surveys have also found significant public support for it. We will continue to police in this way," the Commissioner said.

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Commissioner Harris added that he was prepared to ask for additional powers if they are needed at a later stage.

Following the announcement of the restrictions last night, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly did not give an exact figure as to how much money would be provided for Garda overtime, but assured they would not be left wanting.

Gardaí say the funding is welcome as policing Covid restrictions will put strain on resources, particularly as crime levels, which decreased during lockdown, have returned to normal.

In addition, Operation Navigation, which focuses on compliance with public health regulations by licensed premises, will continue nationwide.

Under Level 3 restrictions, bars, cafes and restaurants are only permitted to operate takeaway or outdoor dining service for a up to 15 people.

Businesses found in breach of the restrictions face penal regulations.

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