POLICE COMMISSIONER Gary Griffith yesterday warned the public against having limes and parties at their private homes because when they become aware of it they will shut it down and then search, breathalyze and possibly charge you and your guests.
In a statement that followed Friday night’s shut-down of a COVID party in St Ann’s, Griffith first thanked the majority of the citizenry for staying at home to control the spread of the global pandemic coronavirus.
He said however there are some advising over social media that the TTPS has no authority to prevent persons from committing acts during this period such as having “COVID house parties”, as this is private property.
“I am humbly asking all responsible citizens not to be baited with the false perception that they can do as they please during this period, based on the fact that it is in their private home,” said Griffith.
Griffith also promised both daily and nightly roadblocks either near to or in front of the 70 police stations throughout the country. There will also be roadblocks on the highways with Emergency Response Unit officers who will also be carrying out patrols to ensure that everyone complies with the stay at home order.
He warned that according to the World Heath Organization (WHO) coronavirus was among one of the most insidious of viruses as one can have it, not exhibit any symptoms and spread it to someone over 60 or with a pre-existing condition which makes the virus lethal to them.
Griffith then explained: “So to those who refuse to adhere to being responsible I advise that there are a number of options that I can and would use if any citizen becomes irresponsible and decides to commit actions, even in their own homes, that can affect the lives of others during this period.
1. Public Health Ordinance - Section 133 - Giving police right to power at that time to enter any land or building to save lives.
2. Public Nuisance - Section 70 of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02.
3. Based on neighbours sending complaints to the Police of excess noise, the Police can intervene and stop such events due to Noise Pollution, contrary to the EMA Act, Section 51.
4. If the Police are aware, via intelligence that there is an event, even on private property, of illegal activities, be it human trafficking, drugs on premises, lewd dancing etc., they can acquire a warrant and would do so and get it in minutes, and would indeed raid the said premises as given such authority in the Summary Courts Act, Chapter 4:20, Section 41.
5. The TTPS would also be waiting for such individuals who leave such events and would be greeting them via road-blocks, whereby Breathalysers and searches of their vehicles would also take place.
“So to those who try to be relevant and influence others into believing that you can commit irresponsible and even illegal acts in their own home during this period, that can affect lives and state that the Police can do nothing about it, the above authority can easily clarify,” stated Griffith.