Starting this month, the Police Department will be issuing an award to the police officer who arrests the most violators of the COVID-19 safety regulations for the month.
The announcement was made by Commissioner Chester Williams today during the police press brief held in the Commissionerís office in Belmopan.
Commissioner Williams said that there have been blatant violations of, and disregard for, the COVID-19 protocols, and police are now determined to make sure that these laws are obeyed. The department is therefore offering incentives to police officers to arrest violators of those regulations.
He reminds the public that face masks must be worn in public and social distancing must also be carried out in public. Police will arrest persons who fail to carry out these protocols. Members of the public are reminded that anyone found guilty of a violation of the quarantine laws, will face a $5,000 fine or a prison sentence of 3 years.
The Commissioner said that he saw pictures on social media of a crowd of people standing close to each other, not wearing masks, and violating the protocols, and this annoys him. He said that this will not be tolerated, and that police have the primary responsibility of enforcing the quarantine laws and the related statutory instruments.
The Police Commissioner said that when he drove around the city, he saw people not wearing masks, and clusters of people standing closely together, and not practicing social distancing, and also, people in nightclubs not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing, and these violations put the communities and the country at risk for a further outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
A call is now being made to police to increase their arrests of violators of the COVID-19 protocols and an incentive will now be given to increase their arrests of violators.
Beginning this month, and every month thereafter, the police officer who makes the most arrests of COVID-19 violators will be given an award at the end of the month.
The Commissioner of Police hopes that this move will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Police Commissioner reminds the public that the law requires that masks cover both the nose and the mouth.
The nightclub owners must be held accountable for people in their establishment who are violating the protocols, Commissioner Williams went on to state. He is in agreement with a change in the Quarantine SI to hold the owners accountable for violations in their establishment, so that owners will carry out their own enforcement in order to avoid prosecution.
If owners of those establishments do not comply, their business licenses will be suspended or revoked, said Williams.Amandala