Gardai have reassured victims of domestic abuse that measures are in place to help them amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
It said: “An Garda Siochana is taking this opportunity to reassure victims that domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, will continue to receive highest priority response for service.
“The restructuring of An Garda Siochana ensures that there are more Gardai than ever on our streets and in our communities around the country and we are ready to assist and protect victims of domestic abuse.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau, told RTE radio that when people report domestic abuse or any type of crime, officers will respond “very quickly and robustly”.
Mr Daly said Victim Service Offices are contacting each victim to ensure their safety and protection.
“If they look for or need assistance, An Garda Siochana will be there for them,” he said.
“We have the highest ever number of staff on the ground, so we’re anxious and eager to assist all of our victims.
He added: “The current crisis brings many fears and anxieties for families throughout the country, we all understand that. For victims of domestic violence those fears are doubled.
“As part of our community response to Covid-19, we’re implementing Operation Faoisimh, which is an initiative to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are supported and protected.”
Mr Daly said that, as part of Operation Faoisimh, Garda Victim Services Offices will facilitate phone contact with previous victims of domestic abuse to ascertain any existing issues of concern and to ensure the protection of families. Any concerns will be immediately responded to by An Garda Siochana.
He added that people will still be able to secure barring orders during the emergency.
“The important message for everyone to hear is that there is no loss of service by An Garda Siochana, there is no loss of the courts service. If people need a barring order, if they need an urgent barring order, those services are there.”