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Majority adhering to public health guidelines 21.05.20

IN supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen members of An Garda Síochána engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
During this time, Gardaí have interacted with hundreds of thousands of people while on patrol or at checkpoints. The vast majority were adhering to the public health guidelines.
In what continues to be a small minority of cases across the country, despite receiving a number of warnings, some individuals were still not willing to take steps to comply with the public health guidelines.
From 8 April, when the regulations came into effect until 16 May 2020, Gardaí have invoked the regulations 241 times.
As per Garda policy, in all cases where arrests were made under the regulations, Gardaí consulted with the Director of Public Prosecutions on the decision to charge.
In addition, pre-existing enforcement powers were used in 1,621 incidents where other offences were disclosed in the course of COVID-19 operations. These range from incidents such as drink driving or disqualified drivers detected at checkpoints, to drugs and weapons seizures, to public order offences.
The number of incidents involving other suspected crimes continues to far exceed the number of cases involving only breaches of Government restrictions.
Commissioner Drew Harris said, "There has been a high level of compliance with the public health guidelines to date. I want to thank the public for that. But, from this week, the country is entering another critical phase. It is vital that we all continue to play our part in reducing the spreading of COVID-19 by adhering to the updated public health guidelines."
From 8 April until 16 May 2020 inclusive, there were 70 incidents of spitting and/or coughing against members of An Garda Síochána and Gardaí had to use anti-spit guards 57 times.
Commissioner Harris said, "Regrettably, these reprehensible spitting and coughing attacks on our personnel continue. These are a significant health and safety risk to our members in the current environment. We must protect them from such attacks."
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