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Gardaí to establish public order unit in response to COVID-19

Gardaí are setting up a full-time public order unit to patrol at-risk locations and to ensure th...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

10.18 17 Mar 2020


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Gardaí to establish public ord...

Gardaí to establish public order unit in response to COVID-19

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

10.18 17 Mar 2020


Share this article


Gardaí are setting up a full-time public order unit to patrol at-risk locations and to ensure the maintenance of law and order amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The unit will be comprised of 100 gardaí, sergeants and inspectors, working a two-rota system of 12-hour shifts.

The force hopes to have the officers deployed by tomorrow afternoon.

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Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Criminologist Dr Matt Bowden said states have undertaken extra measures before to safeguard public order.

He said: "Its not completely without historical precedent.

"Societies have had to deal with outbreaks of viruses and diseases and black deaths and plagues and various things.

"So it's hardly surprising that the State takes extraordinary measures to deal with potential problems that might arise.

It comes after An Garda Síochána said yesterday that it would be hiring up to 210 additional vehicles to provide additional mobility members to help with community support amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The ‘contingency’ vehicles will be used to maintain interactions between people and to provide support for those who may need help collecting prescriptions or attending hospital appointments.

Gardaí across the country are being asked to actively identify and assist people most at need, particularly those with limited local family or social support.

Speaking yesterday, Deputy Commissioner Twomey said: "As a community at this time we need more than ever to support the most vulnerable in our society, particularly our elderly and isolated.

"An Garda Síochána has always worked closely with our communities and we continue to do so in these extraordinary times."

Main image: File photo. Credit: PA

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