Phase 3 of An Garda Síochána’s Operation Faoiseamh has commenced today which sees gardaí prioritise citizens vulnerable to and victims of Domestic Abuse.
This 3rd phase combines the last two phases and will see gardaí proactively reach out and make contact with previous victims to provide reassurance, support and to offer the assistance of local and specialised resources and there will also be a renewed focus on the enforcement of court orders and the prosecution of offenders.
An Garda Síochána continues to treat all instances of Domestic Abuse as a priority and once again re-enforces its commitment to ‘keeping people safe’, and in particular the victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The vulnerable and victims of abuse, will continue to receive the highest priority response from An Garda Síochána.
Gardaí will also continue to liaise with and support State and non-State Agencies to facilitate continuity in respect of access to support services and Courts Services.
Garda resources dedicated to the support of vulnerable and victims of domestic violence have not been affected during their response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) and Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSU), now established in every Garda Division, supported by Divisional Victim Service Offices (DVSO) and front line Gardaí are all resources available to respond to these crimes and support these citizens.
Pic: Courtesy Garda Press Office
To date, gardai have recorded an 18% (as of 19/10/2020) year on year increase to date in calls for assistance in respect of Domestic related issues between 2019/2020.
As of 12/10/2020, there was a total of 15320 contacts or attempts at contact to victims of domestic abuse have been recorded as part of Operation Faoiseamh – Phase I for incidents which have been reported between 1st January 2020 and 12th October 2020.
There has been a year to date increase in detections for offences relating to breaches of court orders obtained pursuant to relevant provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2018 of 14.7% (as of 15/09/2020) and, in the period between the 13th May 2020 and the 27th May 2020, there have been a total of 107 prosecutions connected to Operation Faoiseamh – Phase II
Ireland is currently at Level 5 of the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Amendment) (No.8) Regulations 2020 are currently in force and restrict movement of persons from their place of residence.
Gardaí want to assure victims of domestic abuse that travel restrictions do not apply in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.
Operation Faoiseamh commenced on the 1st April 2020 with the goal of providing enhanced proactive support to victims of domestic abuse.
Operation Faoiseamh formed part of An Garda Síochána’s community engagement response to COVID-19. GNPSB is overseeing the implementation of this proactive initiative, which was launched with the aim of ensuring that victims of domestic abuse were supported and protected during this extraordinary time.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau said: “Prior to the commencement of Operation Faoiseamh I assured those victims experiencing domestic abuse that An Garda Síochána were available to assist you in this difficult time. An Garda Síochána are mindful of the fear and concern some in our community may have at this time. I wish to take this opportunity to re-emphasise our commitment to protect the most vulnerable in society. Operation Faoiseamh has been established to ensure you are safe, if you feel threatened or are in fear please contact us and we will respond quickly and robustly. If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and I ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect”.