Lockdown patrols: Garda checkpoints return to Kilkenny as ‘major’ policing operation swings into action from midnight
Gardai in Kilkenny will return to Covid-patrols from midnight tonight as the new Covid-19 restrictions come into effect across the country. And gardai have warned motorists to expect delays over the coming days as checkpoints are manned across the city and county.
The renewed policing operation follows the Government’s decision to move the country to Level 3 of the National Framework for Living with Covid-19.
Gardai will re-commence Operation Fanacht from midnight tonight as part a nationwide policing operation.
Under Level 3, people are being encouraged not to travel out of their county unless for essential reasons. In support of this announcement, gardai today said there will be “high visibility patrolling” by members of the force across the country.
The operation will involve 132 large-scale checkpoints a day on main arterial routes around the country in addition to thousands of mobile checkpoints on secondary routes in towns and villages a week.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “An Garda Síochána’s priority is keeping people safe. This will be a major policing operation across the country with high visibility of Garda members to support public health measures.
“An Garda Síochána is encouraging people not to travel out of their county unless it is for essential purposes.
“We want to advise people that will be conducting major checkpoints on main routes and travelling by road from tomorrow will be different from travelling today. People using the roads are likely to face delays.”
Commissioner Harris added: “Since the start of the pandemic, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing approach based on its tradition of consent. We have seen compliance by the vast majority of the public with this approach. Independent surveys have also found significant public support for it. We will continue to police in this way.
“We have also had a strong focus on the protecting and supporting the vulnerable. That will continue as well. If you need our help, please contact your local Garda station.
“As an organisation rooted in the community, An Garda Síochána understands the difficulties these measures place on everybody. More than ever, we all need to work together and adhere to public health guidelines and regulations to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and save lives.”