KCLR NewsNews & Sport

“I’m delighted to say people of Kilkenny have given a great account of themselves throughout this pandemic” says Garda Superintendent

Derek Hughes has been outlining a number of policing operations in support of public health measures

As we start to settle into level 3 restrictions, you’ll may begin to notice more Gardaí in very specific areas of Kilkenny city and county.

It’s as part of ongoing policing operations in support of the public health measures.

Supt Derek Hughes has been telling KCLR News that their response on roads primarily relates to high visability patrolling, noting “Under Operation Fanacht we’ll be moving our checkpoints to the county boundaries, particularly in north Kilkenny with the border with Laois and also Tipperary, we’ll also be conducting patrols of areas that where previously we would have seen permanent checkpoints to ensure that compliance with public health measures around intercounty travel”.

They’ve also teamed up with Kilkenny Chamber for an initiative to support the festive shopping season as Supt Derek Hughes outlines “We’re undertaking beat patrols daily within Kilkenny City covering all retail locations in the run-up to Christmas and the purpose of that is to make people feel safe as they shop, we’ll be looking to counteract any spike in crime through shoplifting or pickpockets and we’ll have overt and covert patrols on the streets of Kilkenny over the next three weeks”.

He adds “People should feel safe to come in and shop in the city”.

There’s a focus too on public order with Supt Hughes saying “We’ll be reimplementing Operation City Safe which is our night time economy operation focusing on public order and it has been quite successful to date and we’re confident that it will help to keep public disorder and assaults to the very minimal level over the Christmas period during the hours of the night time economy and we’ll also be visiting licensed premises to ensure their cooperation and compliance with the regulations under what is termed Operation Navigation”.

As well as the above operations, Gardaí are keen to point out that they are available to support those vulnerable in our community as Supt Hughes sums up “We have seen a noted increase in reports of domestic abuse and we’re engaging closely with people who are victims of same and we will continue that work throughout. I should also say that we will be providing support, logistical and personal support to people who are isolated or vulnerable during the period, the restrictions mean that the people can’t celebrate Christmas in the way they have in the past and we have throughout the currency of the pandemic been available to people to assist with shopping and pharmacy deliveries and stuff like that for people who are isolate or vulnerable and we’ll continue with that”.

In conclusion, Supt Hughes says Kilkenny people have largely been compliant with Covid19 restriction measures, telling KCLR “We have found extremely high levels of compliance by all people during the various stages of the public health measures throughout, there are always people who make poor decisions and exercise bad judgement but they’re in the minority and that will continue to happen, we will deal with it as and when it arise but I’m delighted to say people of Kilkenny have given a great account of themselves throughout this pandemic and I’ve no doubt that’ll continue in the weeks coming into Christmas”.