Minister Flanagan welcomes third report of the Policing Authority on Policing Performance by An Garda Síochána in relation to the Covid-19 crisis
22 May 2020
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today briefed the Government on the third report of the Policing Authority on the performance by An Garda Síochána of its policing role in the context of Covid-19. These reports were requested by Minister Flanagan, as he is keen to ensure regular independent assessment and reporting on the exercise by An Garda Síochána of its additional temporary powers in support of public health restrictions on movement and gatherings.
Welcoming the report, Minister Flanagan 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 6 times each day. 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. It is to the credit of An Garda Síochána 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. This brings home more clearly than ever that connection and commitment to community is a defining feature of An Garda Síochána.”
The Policing Authority 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.
Minister Flanagan also commented on the ongoing focus on addressing domestic abuse, in all forms, during this crisis. He 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. An Garda Síochána will continue to prioritise responding to your needs and the full range of State and community services are still available to you, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. More information is available on a dedicated website www.stillhere.ie “
Notes for Editors
Additional powers were provided for An Garda Síochána in support of public health related restrictions on movement and gatherings, through legislation and regulations by the Department of Health – namely the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020, which amends the Health Act 1947, and associated regulations. These powers are temporary in nature.
Additional information on the use by An Garda Síochána of these powers and associated monitoring by the Policing Authority is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality, at the following link: