Wednesday 30 September, 2020

Party promoters and goers flagged for breaking curfew orders in St Ann

File photo of a police public order operation.

File photo of a police public order operation.

Party promoters and goers in the garden parish of St Ann are continuing their worrying trend of breaking the island's curfew orders to attend illegal events that are being staged in the parish, placing law-abiding citizens there at increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

While several of the law breakers have already been arrested, the parish's police are signalling to other individuals to desist from breaking the law.

What is worrying too, is that some individuals who are staging the illegal parties in St Ann have reportedly cited financial and economic reasons for their actions in breaking the law.

The overall scenario was outlined at Thursday's monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation by Superintendent Carlos Russell, who is in charge of administration at the St Ann Police Division.

The lawman explained that persons are staging parties in remote locations within the parish without the necessary permissions being granted by either the police or the parish's municipal authority.

Russell said: "Persons are putting on parties without any permission from the council or from the police, and we are getting from some of these persons (that) they don't see anything wrong with what they are doing.

"Persons are saying, ‘Look,… (we) are just trying to make a food to send our children back to school’," Russell added.

Other worrying characteristics of the parties, according to Russell, are "the number of persons who are there; no form of social distancing or persons wearing masks."

In light of the trends, the superintendent has warned that party promoters will be arrested for the breaches of the law.

"... if we find these persons who are keeping these parties, I've given instructions that these persons be charged. So just let them know that if they are caught, they will be charged for breaching the Disaster Risk Management Act," stated Russell.

And already several persons have been booked for breaching the Act. The total number of persons charged, however, has not been revealed by the police.

Meanwhile, Russell has urged the councillors of the municipal corporation to appeal to citizens to desist from breaching the island's curfew orders.

Due to the island now reportedly experiencing community transmission of COVID-19, the Government has long imposed a curfew on the island, with the measure now commencing at 8 pm and ending at 5 am daily.

"The curfew has now gone up to 8 (pm) and I just want to ask our councillors here who have a wider reach of persons in their various communities, just to encourage them and to educate them, and to ensure that they stay inside, and they do not breach the curfew," Russell said, adding that "We don't want to arrest persons, but if we have to, then we will."

Persons who wish to make calls relating to the breaching of COVID-19 protocols may contact the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Command Centre at 876-702-5109, according to Russell.

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