• Clodagh Meaney

Gardaí to continue treating Domestic Abuse as priority

There has been a 25% year on year increase of domestic incidents during COVID-19

By Clodagh Meaney

An Garda Síochána have announced today that they will continue to treat all instances of Domestic Abuse as a priority as the country enters phase two of re-opening following the COVID-19 crisis.

They have also said that they will continue to allocate adequate resources towards crimes against the vulnerable.

Operation Faoiseamh was launched on April 1st as part of An Garda Síochána’s community engagement response to COVID-19, to ensure that domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, would receive the highest priority response from the Gardaí.

The aim of the Operation is to prevent loss of life and to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are supported and protected during this extraordinary time.

Frontline Gardaí, the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) and Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSU) are all resources available to respond to these crimes. Currently there are 245 Garda Members and Staff allocated to the GNPSB and 16 DPSUs nationally to investigate sexual and domestic crimes. To date, An Garda Síochána has recorded a 25% year on year increase in calls for assistance in respect of Domestic related issues between 2019 and 2020.

Phase I of the Operation involved the utilisation of Garda Victim Liaison Offices, Divisional Protective Service Units and other appropriate resources to reach out and make contact with survivors of Domestic Abuse with a view to ascertaining any existing issues of concern, to offer support and reassurance and to ensure that any issues identified were dealt with fast. A total of 8,229 contacts or attempts at contact to survivors of domestic abuse have been recorded as part of Operation Faoiseamh Phase I for incidents which have been reported between 1st January 2020 and 25th May 2020.

Phase II of Operation Faoiseamh began on May 13th and concentrated on the execution of arrests and the commencement of prosecutions for offences relating to breaches of court orders obtained pursuant to relevant provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2018.

Between the 13th May 2020 and the 27th May 2020, a total of 107 prosecutions connected to Operation Faoiseamh Phase II have been reported. Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, GNPSB commented: "Prior to the commencement of Operation Faoiseamh, I assured those victims experiencing domestic abuse that An Garda Síochána were available and willing to assist you in this difficult time."

"I wish to take this opportunity to re-emphasise our commitment to protecting the vulnerable in our communities," he added.

"The 107 prosecutions initiated in the last few weeks as part of Operation Faoiseamh should serve as a reminder to all that breaching domestic abuse Court Orders is an offence and can result in Court Proceedings."

"Victims and those who are aware of abusive domestic circumstances should continue to report to An Garda Síochána," he concluded.

If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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