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Victim support Gardaí investigated almost 50,000 domestic violence incidents in 2021

There were also 8,600 charges for crimes involving an element of domestic abuse, up 14pc from 2020.

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Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

Gardaí investigated almost 50,000 domestic violence incidents last year – up 10pc on 2020.

New figures also show there were 4,250 criminal charges for breaches of domestic violence orders in 2021, a 6pc increase year-on-year.

There were also 8,600 charges for crimes involving an element of domestic abuse, up 14pc from 2020.

In total gardaí responded to more than 48,400 domestic abuse incidents last year with a new initiative launched at the start of the pandemic to enhance victim support.

Operation Faoiseamh began in April 2020 to provide an effective response to victims of domestic abuse.

During the fifth phase of the operation, over the last Christmas period, a total of 122 prosecutions were brought relating to domestic violence.

A garda spokesman said a consistent element of the initiative was gardaí reaching out and making contact with previous victims of domestic abuse to provide reassurance, support and to offer the assistance of local and specialised resources.

Since April 2020 gardaí have made 45,283 contacts, or attempted contacts, with victims of domestic abuse.

Detective Chief Superintendent Colm Noonan, head of the Garda National Protective Service Bureau (GNPSB), asked victims of abuse to contact gardaí.

“An Garda Síochána continues to prioritise our response to victims of domestic abuse,” he said.

“Operation Faoiseamh was launched in April 2020 to provide extra protection and support to these victims.

“Our commitment to vulnerable victims remains resolute.

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"The increase in prosecutions in 2021, both in respect of breaches of Domestic Violence Act Orders and for crimes involving an element of domestic abuse, demonstrates that An Garda Síochána have the capacity and resolve to fully investigate domestic abuse offences and to prosecute offenders.

“The Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) and Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSU), now established in every Garda Division, supported by Divisional Victim Service Offices (DVSO) and frontline gardaí are available to respond to these crimes and support anyone who needs assistance.

“I would ask once again, if you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, please make contact with An Garda Síochána.

"If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112.”

Divisional units have also been established in every garda division with a total of 392 gardaí assigned to them on a full-time basis.

Gardaí attached to the units are specially trained in a number of areas including investigating sex crimes, child protection, investigation of domestic abuse, online child exploitation and sex offender management.

A garda spokesman said more than 1,000 staff and sworn members have also completed the Policing and Human Rights Law in Ireland Module delivered by the University of Limerick.

A further 500 are currently undertaking the module.

Gardaí are also working with the Chief State Solicitor’s Office to ensure that a State solicitor prosecutes hearing dates for domestic violence

“An Garda Síochána has put in place improved arrangements and protocols for the service of, and recording of the service of Domestic Violence Orders on respondents,” a spokesman added.

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