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Eight people have files sent to DPP over failure to wear a face mask

The DPP will decide if criminal charges should be brought.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

GARDAÍ THIS EVENING released an update on the policing of restrictions since the introduction of Level 5 last week.

Gardaí were given powers to enforce the new restrictions earlier this month and the force confirmed that a total of eight people have so far had files sent to the DPP over the non-wearing of a face covering. 

Officers are carrying out a number of initiatives, including Operation Fanacht, which is designed to limit the number of people on our roads by enforcing the 5km rule.

Since 22 October, gardaí have operated 132 checkpoints on major roads and around 1,000 other checkpoints on secondary and minor roads every day. The force said that compliance rates have been “very high”. 

However, there have been two incidents since 22 October where individuals were suspected of breaching travel restriction regulations and files were sent to the DPP who will decide if criminal charges should be proffered. 

Traffic data shows that volumes of cars on the roads have fallen again since the introduction of Level 5. Overall, traffic levels are down almost 50% when compared to pre-Covid-19 levels in February.
 
Gardaí have also continued to prevent and detect crime and road traffic offences at Operation Fanacht checkpoints over the seven days from 22 October.
 
In total, there have been 71 crimes recorded in the course of Covid-19 operations that were not related to breaches of regulations. These were mainly road traffic and drug-related.

Retail

Gardaí have also been carrying out checked of retailers across the nation to make sure they are complying with the new regulations. A total of 954 checks were carried out between noon last Saturday until 3pm on the Sunday. 

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Officers said there were just six incidents where retailers continued to flout regulations despite being told they were contravening regulations. Files have been sent to the DPP on these matters also.

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said compliance by the public and businesses with the Level 5 public health regulations has been “very high and we thank them for that”.
 
“We are continuing to visit and engage with retail premises to ensure compliance with the regulations. We are seeing wide-spread compliance, but there are some premises who are potentially in breach of the regulations and need to pay attention to the obligations upon them.
 
“We appreciate this is a difficult time for people, but we all need to continue to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the public health advice.”

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