IN line with a national response to Covid-19, Waterford Gardaí carried out 52 checkpoints and additional patrols over the weekend to make sure people were only making essential journeys and to encourage them not to congregate in public areas.
Members of the Community Policing Unit were also on hand to help deliver Meals on Wheels and prescriptions to the elderly who are cocooning.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Friday that from midnight until April 12, everybody must stay at home except in specific circumstances, including essential work. Among the other exceptions are to buy food, attend medical appointments, exercise within two kilometres of a person’s home or for vital family reasons.
Over the course of the weekend Gardaí were out in force with checkpoints carried out across the city, in Dunmore East and in Ferrybank.
A spokesperson for Waterford Gardaí said as a result of the lockdown incidents of domestic burglaries are down. The number of public order incidents is also down due to pubs and clubs being closed. The falloff in such incidents is giving Gardaí the opportunity to carry out the check-points and patrols. They are also patrolling areas where people are likely to congregate, mainly shopping areas in Ardkeen, Lisduggan and Ballybeg.
Community Gardaí are also stepping up their responsibilities and are working alongside various agencies including Meals on Wheels.
The Community Policing Unit assisted in the collection and delivery of medicines in Waterford City. Garda Moriarty engaged with Sam Mc Cauley’s Pharmacy in assisting a customer who could not attend the store to collect their items due to the recent “cocooning” measures. Community Policing Waterford are utilising the Community Support vehicles provided during this time to ensure people stay safe.
Requests are mainly coming in through the agencies they are working with, with very few coming from the community. The spokesperson stressed that they cannot bring members of the public to Covid-19 test centres as their members wouldn’t be able to keep the required distance.
Given that over 70s and those in the vulnerable categories have been encouraged to cocoon at home, Gardaí expect that requests will rise. However, Gardaí are most concerned about those who live on their own and are not in touch with the various agencies.
To avail of this service contact Waterford Garda Station on (051) 305300 or e-mail [email protected]
Community Support Helpline
Meanwhile, a dedicated community support helpline was launched by Waterford City and County Council to assist at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency. The confidential phoneline service was established by the new COVID-19 Waterford Community Response Forum, which includes over a dozen agencies and organisations. The dedicated contact centre can be contacted on the following freephone number 1800 250 185 or by emailing [email protected]