Significant increase in domestic abuse calls to Gardaí
"Given the limitations on movement placed on people, we knew domestic violence would increase."
Gardaí received approximately 43,500 calls in response to domestic abuse incidents in 2020, according to a new report.
Released on Monday, the Garda Annual Report 2020 noted that over 7,600 criminal charges were created in 2020 for crimes involving an element of domestic abuse.
Protective service units have now been established in every Garda division.
Recorded incidents of domestic abuse between 2016 and 2018 saw a monthly average of 1,759.
In contrast, the 2019–2020 figure stands at 2,552 per month.
Gardaí noted that this specific type of crime is seen as potentially underreported and thus the increase of 15% represents a "desirable correction".
22,795 contacts and attempted contacts were made with victims of domestic abuse by Gardaí in 2021, with over 217 prosecutions were taken directly related to the domestic violence-focused Operation Faoiseamh.
"Given the limitations on movement placed on people, we knew domestic violence would increase," said Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.
"A dedicated operation was put in place that saw a significant level of contacts made with victims of domestic abuse and prosecutions taken against perpetrators.
Last year saw the number of Gardaí reach its highest level in history, the major mobilisation of Gardaí to support people during the pandemic, over €36m of drugs seized & over 22,000 contacts made with victims of domestic abuse. 2020 Garda Annual Report: https://t.co/tA9YYmCiAS pic.twitter.com/eySzRBmUE2
— Garda Info (@gardainfo) October 18, 2021
Elsewhere in the report, An Garda Síochána noted that it has thwarted 75 assassination attempts in the period from 2016 to 2020.
"2020 was an unprecedented year for the country that required an exceptional response from An Garda Síochána to help keep people safe during a global pandemic," said Harris.
"This saw An Garda Síochána and its personnel to react swiftly to provide reassurance to the public that we were there to help them through incredibly difficult and challenging times.”