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Home > Crime trends during Covid-19. March-May 2020.

An Garda Siochana. (2020) Crime trends during Covid-19. March-May 2020. Dublin: An Garda Siochana.

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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. The Garda Commissioner has confirmed that An Garda Síochána will continue to operate as a community-based policing service with a focus on protecting the vulnerable. An Garda Síochána increased high visibility patrols, checkpoints and community engagement, which has seen some significant proactive policing detections in Drugs, Offensive Weapons, Firearms and Searches. 

P.6 Crimes Against Society

Controlled Drugs Offences are 10% higher overall. This group is driven by two higher volume crimes; Possession for Sale or Supply is 18% higher and Simple Possession (personal use) is 7% higher (these increases are at the same rate when the CCR are not applied to reflect all incidents). Comparative increases to last year would be higher were it not for the spike in incidents of simple possession in May 2019. Increased numbers of checkpoints and Garda presence on the ground has driven a consistently higher rate of Possession for Sale or Supply incidents since early April. 

The Garda Commissioner, on 13 March 2020, when announcing An Garda Síochána’s measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted that resources assigned to specialist units, including drugs units, were not affected by these measures. An Garda Síochána had commenced a process to establish/re-invigorate Drugs Units in each Garda Division. This was a first step in preparedness for Operation Tara. Divisional Drug Units are now established in every Garda Division. The uninterrupted policing of organised crime at a national level and considerable increase in the size of Divisional Drugs Units at a local level, during the policing of the COVID-19 pandemic, has contributed to this success in seizing controlled drugs and in the apprehension of those involved in the sale and supply of the substances involved. In addition, the significant increase in the number of members of An Garda Síochána circulating in communities and engaged in checkpoints throughout the State, has also presented an obstacle to the movement of criminals. 

An Garda Síochána has a well-established Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme. Each Garda Division has selected and appointed an Inspector with the specific responsibility for the implementation of the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme. Implementing this programme in conjunction with the National Family Support Network, An Garda Síochána will deal with any complaint of drug related intimidation or advice sought in relation to this issue, with the utmost safety and effective means in order to afford the person or family subject to the threat the best level of security, advice and support which can be offered. Most importantly An Garda Síochána will deal with this issue in the utmost confidential and secure fashion. Anyone who is a victim of Drugs Related Intimidation or has information on drugs related intimidations can contact the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or The Family Support Network: 01 8980148, info@fsn.ie, www.fsn.ie

[See page 13 for graphs of drug-related crime, and page 18 for crime statistics including 10 - Controlled Drug Offences, and 13 - Public Order and other Social Code Offences (drunkenness)]

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