Covid-19 enforcement powers used on average six times each day, Justice Minister reveals

Garda coronavirus enforcement powers have been used on average six times a day, according to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan.

People are restricted to exercising within five kilometres of their homes, while gatherings at places like beaches are outlawed.

Mr Flanagan also expressed concern about domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “I welcome the policing authority’s third detailed report and the confirmation it provides that Garda use of these enforcement powers remains modest and consistent – with enforcement powers used on average only six times each day.”

The authority has reported on the performance of the Garda during the Covid-19 emergency.

The minister added: “I am very pleased to see that the feedback from stakeholders, including human rights organisations and community groups, has been overwhelmingly positive and that the community support and engagement being provided by gardaí all over the country is deeply appreciated.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Charlie Flanagan</figcaption>
Charlie Flanagan

“It is to the credit of An Garda Siochana that a consistent theme identified in this engagement is a desire that the current focus on community policing is maintained after we emerge from this pandemic.”

The report also addresses a range of other issues including the form in which data is captured, the overall crime environment, the use of anti-spit guards and challenges in relation to the policing role as restrictions on movement are gradually eased over time.

Mr Flanagan said: “It is distressing to see further indications that incidents of domestic abuse have increased.

“I remind all those who are at risk of domestic or sexual violence to please reach out for support.

“No matter what your circumstances, no matter what the context, domestic abuse and sexual violence are criminal acts which will not be tolerated.”