Over 40 persons arrested, charged for breaching emergency measures

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Guyana Police Force has arrested over forty persons for breaching the 6pm to 6am curfew implemented by the Public Health Ministry to slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus

This was disclosed by Regional Deputy Commander for Region Four, Senior Superintendent Phillip Azore during an interview with DPI.

“Over 40 were arrested and charged, they are currently being placed before the court. So far five persons have been placed before the court where they were made to pay fines and other punishment that the court has awarded,” Azore stated.

He said the slow rate of penalization is due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the courts. Presently they operate three days per week which allows for just five such cases per week.

The Commander pointed out that before an arrest is made, citizens are given a warning. If that warning is ignored then an arrest is made. However, he pointed out that most persons are complying with the measures.

Commander Azore also highlighted that to further enforce the curfew, there are several strategically placed roadblocks.

“The reason for the roadblocks is to stop those persons driving on the road [after the curfew] and ascertain if there is any legitimate reason for them being on the road. If there is no valid reason, we ask that they proceed home immediately. If persons continue to breach the curfew they will be prosecuted,” he underscored.

It was highlighted that the Traffic Taskforce works during the day to ensure minibuses and taxis follow the 50 percent passenger rate. If they are found to have breached the measures, they are warned before an arrest is made.

“It is not a case where you commit an offence for the first time and we charge you, you are warned but if you continue then there is strict enforcement and we have you placed before the court,” Azore stated.

The Guyana Police Force continues to call on persons and businesses to adhere to the emergency measures. They are also reminding that any person who fails to comply with any of the measures is committing and an offence under Section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty provided under that section.