The significant response towards policing domestic violence and supporting victims during the pandemic is believed to have led to interventions that may have averted domestic homicides.
Operation Faoiseamh, launched by An Garda Síochána in response to the increase in domestic violence during the lockdown, has seen 82% of victims contacted by gardaí within seven days of the reported incident.
Almost 87% of victim assessments were also completed within three days of the reported incident.
This follows a 25% year-on-year increase in calls for assistance in respect of domestic-related issues following the targeted campaign.
The details are contained in the Policing Authority’s half-year assessment of policing performance in Ireland.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the report focuses on Operation Fanacht, the Garda response to ensuring the public complied with travel restrictions, and Operation Faoiseamh.
The speed with which An Garda Síochána responded to the Covid-19 emergency is “notable”, according to the Policing Authority.
“The early identification of risk around vulnerable individuals and groups, and the proactive approach adopted is to be commended,” it said.
When putting together its half-year assessment, the Policing Authority worked with a number of organisations and groups that work with victims of domestic abuse throughout the country.
This was to understand how the situation evolved over the last number of months, and the impact of An Garda Síochána’s work.
“The Garda Síochána’s early engagement, proactivity and the resourcing, focus and tone of the policing response has been highlighted by those working in this area," said the report.
"Stakeholders have given examples of the Garda effort, collaboration and innovation that has happened at local level and have referenced significant interventions undertaken that they believe may have averted domestic homicides.”
One stakeholder group characterised the current policing response to domestic abuse as 'the best it has ever been in Ireland', added the report.
“The question now arises for organisations and indeed for the Garda Síochána as to which components of that response will become embedded in Garda practice and policy."