635. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons that were arrested since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic for breaching lockdown regulations by county. [23980/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, An Garda Síochána is responsible for policing the public health regulations made under the Health Act 1947.
An Garda Síochána continue to use the 'Four E's' approach in line with their strong tradition of community policing and policing by consent. This sees Garda members engage with, encourage and educate members of the public on public health advice and regulations, with enforcement used only as a last resort.
The Garda authorities have advised that persons who are found to be in breach of the regulations may not necessarily be arrested. In some cases, they may be charged directly or summonsed following direction from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), where appropriate.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of 10 April (the latest date for which information is available) there have been a total of 65 COVID-19 related incidents in which at least one arrest occurred, where the reason for the arrest is due to a breach of the regulations. The Deputy should note that more than one person may be arrested in a single incident.
The table below provides the breakdown by Garda Region:

Region No. of COVID incidents with at least one COVID related arrest
Dublin Metropolitan Region 22
Eastern Region 13
North Western Region 15
Southern Region 15
Total (National) 65

Due to the substantial checking and reviews undertaken on these incidents prior to publication, there is a slight reporting time lag.
For the Deputy's information, updates are published on the Garda website at the below link when available (currently approximately every four weeks). The earliest of these incidents occurred on 8 April 2020, when the first regulations came into effect. The most recent figures available cover incidents which occurred up to 10 April 2021.