Gardaí to increase patrols of public areas to prevent large gatherings

ireland
A Garda car on patrol in Temple Bar during the first day of the Level 5 restrictions in Dublin.
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James Cox

Gardaí are set to increase patrols of public areas to prevent large gatherings following scenes of crowds drinking in Dublin and Cork over the weekend.

Gardaí will increase patrols and engagement particularly in relation to gathering in large groups in open spaces for the remainder of Level 5 restrictions.

This will see increased Garda activity on foot, mountain bikes and vehicle patrols in identified public spaces.

Static and rolling check points on roads will also continue to make sure travel restrictions are adhered to.

Since the last update, there have been an additional:

  • Seven alleged breaches of the Health Act 1947.
  • Eight alleged breaches by licensed Premises (Operation Navigation).
  • 29 alleged breaches by Retail Premises (Operation Treoraím).
  • One alleged breach for Face Coverings Regulations.

Gardaí will continue to seek the advice and direction of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions when Covid-19 restrictions are broken.

There have been 493 prosecutions for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions to date.

Gardaí continue to emphasise a policing by consent approach in relation to Covid-19 guidelines. They will continue to "engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce".

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Speaking today, deputy commissioner, policing and security, John Twomey said: “While it has been disappointing at times to witness some activities by small numbers of individuals and groups I am encouraged by the overwhelming support and compliance being demonstrated right throughout our communities supporting Covid-19 Public Health guidelines.

“An Garda Síochána will focus our activities this weekend on these activities which are causing concern to the majority in our society.”

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