The Gardaí have the powers to arrest without warrant people guilty of the following offences under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994:
As can be seen from the above, the Gardaí are given a power of arrest without warrant for almost all of the offences contained in this Act.
For the offence of riot, violent disorder or affray, the bystander test is applied. This means that if a bystander was present at the scene of the event or offence while it is being committed, they would fear for their own safety or the safety of someone else.
In the Act a number of offences are included which only become offences if they are committed in a public place. For example, offences under Sections 4 to 9 of the Act are limited to a public place. The definition of a public place is contained in Section 3 of the Act and includes almost all places. It is one of the widest definitions of a public place in the criminal justice system.
You can read more about public order offences by clicking here.
Under the Adult Cautioning Scheme (introduced in February 2006), a number of public order offences are included in the list of offences which may be dealt with by way of caution under the Scheme. If you are cautioned under this Scheme it means you are not brought into the court system. The public order offences which can be dealt with by way of caution are:
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.