ON DUTY Gardaí at a checkpoint on Michael Davitt bridge on Achill Island last Sunday afternoon.
The people of Mayo have been fully co-operative with gardaí over new restrictions on movement issued by Taoiseach Leo Varardkar on Friday night last.
That’s according Supt Kevin Gately, who is in charge of Community Engagement for An Garda Siochána in Mayo. There were a significant number of checkpoints in the county over the weekend.
“We have had no cases where people refused to comply with our instructions. So we’ve had cases where people have driven up to a checkpoint and we’ve discovered they shouldn’t be there and they’ve turned around and went home and there was no problem with them,” he told The Mayo News.
Supt Gately said people in the county will continue to see a very visible presence of gardaí on the roads in the county.
“The level of checkpoints has increased since Friday. Throughout Mayo there has been a very co-ordinated response.
“We are ensuring that people are aware of the new requirements and that they understand them. We are engaging with people and getting the message out there.
“People will see more checkpoints and more gardaí on the beat. We are ensuring that people are aware of the new requirements and that they understand them. We are engaging with people and getting the message out there.
“Our message to people is to stay at home unless they are on their way to work that is considered essential; looking after and caring for a person; or shopping for essential supplies. Once a day people can get out and exercise within two kilometres of their home and we are really getting the message out for people to practice this two kilometre restriction.
“I want to thank the public for all of their help so far. I want to encourage people too. We know this is not easy, especially for younger people who are so naturally inclined to be out and about and sociable. We want to thank parents for all they are doing with young people too.
“We would ask people to only be out in the situations that are allowed for. We are here to help. If you want help, we are here,” he added.
He said garda rosters have changed to allow for more cover and, where possible, gardaí have been paired up for shifts for the coming weeks ‘to reduce the levels of risk’.
As well as engaging with people and enforcing the new government requirements, everyday policing continues too, though there have been some differences in crime trends.
“Our approach is two pronged. We will support the national effort in reducing the spread of the virus and we will continue to police as we would in normal circumstances whether that is roads policing, crime prevention and so on.
“Public order cases are certainly down while the fact we are increasingly more visible now means thefts and shoplifting has reduced too. Crime will still continue and we will continue to enforce the law,” said Supt Gately.