…several arrested to be placed before the courts
RANKS of the Guyana Police Force, on Wednesday evening, arrested several persons in a house at Golden Grove on the East Coast of Demerara for failing to adhere to the Covid-19 Emergency Measures.
Around 19:30hrs, the police received information of an active birthday party in the area. Ranks quickly responded and broke up the party. The persons were arrested and escorted to the police station. According to the Covid-19 emergency measures, social activities including private parties, are restricted until June 3. Persons who fail to comply commit an offence under Section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance.
Recently, several villages on the East Coast were listed as hotspots inclusive of Golden Grove. The other communities are Atlantic Gardens, Friendship, Golden Grove, Good Hope, Lusignan, Plaisance, and Strathsphey. Among communities on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) where there were cases are: Diamond; Grove, Land of Canaan, Providence, and Timehri.
Just recently, in an effort to improve the response to the pandemic, the Public Health Ministry had launched its mobile unit at the East La Penitence Health Centre, as well as at the community COVID-19 facilities of Region Four at Herstelling, on the EBD, and at Paradise, on the ECD.
In recent weeks, police have been arresting and placing, before the courts, persons who break the curfew.
Only last week this newspaper reported that 40 Lindeners were arrested and charged for breaking the 18:00 hours to 06:00 hours curfew, as ranks of Region Ten’s Police Division continue to be proactive in enforcing the mandatory regulation. Many of these curfew breakers were caught as a result of roadblocks, community patrols and responding to calls reporting persons breaking social-distancing regulations for entertainment purposes.
Speaking to DPI, Prosecutor Vernette Pindar, had explained that the arrest campaign commenced on May 8 and since then, 40 persons have been arrested and placed before the Linden Magistrate’s Court through virtual hearings. They were fined.
Pindar underscored that failure to pay the fines will result in persons being remanded to prison for up to three months. Those who refused to show up for court were charged in absentia. The prosecutor also disclosed that reports have been made of persons hosting house parties and other social gatherings indoors after curfew hours. She warned that the police will continue to respond to reports of these breaches and that the roadblocks and community patrols will be ongoing.
Roadblocks are usually established at the Bamia Police Outpost, in Amelia’s Ward, the Wismar-Mackenzie Bridge and key sections in Wismar. Pindar reiterated the call for residents to adhere to the advisories implemented by the Public Health Ministry. “If you do not need to be on the road, stay at home. Stay sanitised because when we have to answer these reports, we are putting ourselves at risk.” Commander of Region 10, Hugh Winter, echoed Pindar’s call for compliance with the curfew and other regulations, reminding that the region has the second-largest amount of COVID-19 cases. Linden has recorded nine cases thus far with one death and one recovery.
Additionally, in Corentyne, 22 persons, including a number of Venezuelans, were charged on May 6 for breaching the nationwide curfew in Corentyne. Those charged hail from different communities along the Corentyne Coast as well as from the Mahogany Hotel and Sports bar in Corriverton, East Berbice, Corentyne. According to information received, the police were informed of a party being held at the popular Corentyne Hotel and Sports bar on Tuesday evening when several Venezuelan women were present. The police went to the scene and cautioned the individuals of the offence and subsequently made the arrest.
A senior police source in the Division told the Guyana Chronicle that they have been trying to sensitise the population in Region Six, that they should adhere to the restrictions and avoid being prosecuted. Among the measures used from Number 51 Village to Crabwood Creek were public
announcements encouraging persons to adhere to the curfew and avoid congested areas, officers going to popular places where persons are conducting business to ensure they maintain the social distance as well as patrolling the areas. However, despite the efforts of the police and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and municipalities in Region Six, many persons still seek clever methods to breach the restrictions. The arrests and prosecutions were meant to be a last resort. In light of the growing number of positive cases of the coronavirus in Guyana and sensitisation campaigns, the police have been enforcing the law hoping others will adhere.