Doctor says cops afraid to enforce COVID laws

December 15, 2020

Public health expert Dr Alverston Bailey believes the police are hesitant to enforce the Disaster Risk Management Act because they fear retaliation from the public.

"I sympathise with them. But they just need to kinda fine-tune their strategy for dealing with the persons who are not complying, that will minimise risk to them. As to what methodology they are going to use, it's up to the Police High Command," said Bailey. "We now have the unenviable status of having the most confirmed cases in the English-speaking Caribbean."

But Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay, head of the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), says that the police have increased their presence in November.

"Over the last two weeks, we have launched the surge operations and a part of what we will be doing is stricter enforcement of the Noise Abatement and the Disaster Risk Management Act. That is right across the country," she told THE STAR, adding that illegal events will still be targeted.

"Where we have to take appropriate actions against individuals, it will be done. And a lot of these promoters will be held accountable for some of these illegal events. So this will happen leading up to the festive season and even beyond," said Lindsay. National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said that 2,984 violators have been arrested since March 30.

Meanwhile, the Manchester police have intensified their operations against illegal parties and other forms of disallowed events.

The police, with the support of the military, conducted multiple operations across the parish between last Friday and Saturday. Several persons have been warned for prosecution for breaches under the Disaster Risk Management Act, while nine persons were charged for breaches of the Noise Abatement Act from four illegal events.

On Sunday, Jamaica recorded 82 new COVID cases for a tally of 11,792, with 3,267 being active. Ninety-nine patients are hospitalised, 16 moderately ill, and 14 critically ill. No new deaths were recorded.

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