Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (683)

Neale Richmond

Question:

683. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice the number of Covid-19 regulation breaches reported by An Garda Síochána since their introduction; the breakdown by category and month; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7374/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, confirmed Covid-19 incident figures (powers used/breaches of regulations) are crime incidents in which files are prepared for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in order to charge or summons.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that due to the substantial checking and reviews undertaken on these incidents prior to publication, there is a slight reporting time lag. Updates are published on the Garda website when available, and I am informed that currently this is approximately every four weeks.

I am advised that the most recent figures available cover incidents which occurred between 8 April 2020 and 9 January 2021. Totals by category are included in the table below:

Category of Covid-19 Incidents

Total

Initial Lockdown Period – 8 April 2020 to 28 June 2020 Breaches of Health Act 1947 (Operation Fanacht etc…)

361

Period from 29 June 2020 up to 9 January, 2021 Breaches of Health Act 1947 [*]

126

Licensed Premises (Operation Navigation – commenced 3 July 2020)

398

Retail Premises (Operation Treoraím – commenced 25 October 2020)

108

Face Covering Regulations (File to DPP)

12

International Travel Regulations

10

[*] Excludes Licensed Premises, Retail Premises, Face Coverings and International Travel Regulations .

The following table provides a breakdown of the total number of incidents by month:

Covid-19 Incidents

2020

2021

Apr*

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan*

Total

193

144

26

95

112

59

118

140

98

30

*Figures for incomplete months (from 8 April 2020 to 9 January 2021).

COVID-19 related fixed penalty notices (fines) are currently in operation for a number of distinct offences. I am informed that these are recorded on the Fixed Charge Processing System (FCPS), which only records that information essential to process and post the fine.

It should be noted that different categories of fines came into effect on different dates.

COVID-19 Related Fines

2020

2021

Total

Nov* - Dec

Jan

Events - Dwellings and Non-Dwellings

-

136

136

Face Coverings

14

65

79

Movement of Persons

-

2,803

2,803

Total

14

3,004

3,018

*Figures are based on the date the fine was incurred and different categories have been in effect in different time periods. The earliest fines came into effect on 22 November 2020.

I am informed that confirmed COVID-19 incident figures (powers used/breaches of regulations) are based on PULSE data as of 11 January 2021 – these are operational statistics and are the most recent verified figures available.

In addition, fines information is based on FCPS data on 5 February 2021 and is provisional, operational and liable to change. Fines figures reported include only those where the fixed payment notice has been printed and sent; this is to ensure that the fine has completed the processing stages.