ALMOST a tenth of fines for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions have been in Cork. That is according to the 15th report of the Policing Authority on the policing performance of gardaí during the Covid-19 crisis.
There were 2,132 fines imposed by gardaí in Cork city since the introduction of regulations, second to Dublin Metropolitan Region (north) with 2,755 fines.
Nationally, 22,230 fines have been handed down by gardaí.
“DMR North, Cork City and DMR West remain the Divisions with the highest number of fines issued, standing at 2,755, 2,132 and 1,451 respectively," the report says. "In many counties no FCNs have been issued since the last report.
“The revocation of domestic travel restrictions has meant that no FCNs have been issued for movement of persons/leaving home without reasonable excuse since May.
Approximately 48% of FCNs issued have been paid to date, while 51% remain unpaid and either have or will result in court proceedings.”
Separate to the fines, gardaí have reported using their Covid-19 enforcement powers 132 times in Cork city.
“In addition to issuing FCNs, members of the Garda Síochána have reported using their COVID enforcement powers 2,260 times between 8 April 2020 and 10 July 2021," the report said. "This is an increase of 322 on the figure provided in the Authority’s last report to the Minister, which covered the period up to 8 May 2021. In terms of the geographic distribution of incidents, the highest number of incidents since enforcement commenced are DMR North with 446 incidents and DMR North Central with 172 incidents. The vast majority of new incidents in DMR North in particular have been related to international travel through Dublin airport.
Policing Authority Chairperson, Bob Collins said: "The process of lifting restrictions while being alive to the very real dangers of the virus is filled with complications. Not least of these is what we hope may happen. The prospect of new, or rather old, freedoms increases expectations. Possibilities are imagined. And reality, constrained by circumstance, can disappoint. These are not just theoretical reflections. They have real impact on how the Garda Síochána approaches the policing of remaining emergency regulations. And they have real impact also on how the work of policing is perceived, as well as on how it may be felt, by the population or by sections of it."