by Linda Straker
- Police began using the drone technology on 1 April 2020
- Any person who violates regulations is liable to EC$1,000 fine or 12-months imprisonment
- 115 persons charged since Monday, with most arrests in parish of St George
More than 100 persons are facing charges for violating the Covid-19 regulations since Grenada instituted a mandatory 24-hour curfew at 7 pm on Monday, 30 March 2020.
The curfew is part of the strategy employed by the government to reduce the movement of people as part of physical distancing measures which in turn will reduce the possibility of having community spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Grenada presently has 10 confirmed cases.
Many of charges were laid between 6 am on Thursday, 2 April to 6 am on Friday, 3 April when 44 persons were charged. 39 of the 44 were arrested, charged and bailed while 5 on the island of Carriacou who will appear in court via summons. The total number of persons charged since Monday is 115, with most arrests in the parish of St George.
“This increase was largely due to the employment of drone technology which now allows us wider capabilities to enforce these regulations,” said Vannie Curwen, Head of the Community Relations Department on Friday morning during the daily virtual police brief with journalists. “You will appreciate a significant increase in the number of persons arrested over the last 3 days and as indicated 2 days ago, we will be employing drone technology which we have done and which is aiding us in enforcing the regulations more stringently.”
Police began using drone technology on 1 April 2020.
According to the Emergency Powers legislation, which Grenada used as a guide to enforce the curfew and other regulations for the Limited State of Emergency which began on 25 March, any person who violates the regulations is liable to a fine of EC$1,000 or 12-months imprisonment.
The regulations for the limited State of Emergency among other things, restrict the movement of citizens through a 7-day curfew beginning from 7 pm on 30 March 2020 and ending at 7 pm on 6 April 2020. “During this period every person shall remain confined to their place of residence (inclusive of their yard space) to avoid contact outside of their household, except as provided in these regulations or as may be authorised in writing by the Commissioner of Police.”
The regulations exempt all persons classified as essential workers, to have free movement. Essential workers include members of the police force, prison officer; medical and specific types of healthcare providers such as geriatric nurses, utility provider workers and the media.
The regulations mandate that all religious and educational places of instruction or worship shall remain physically closed and no person shall host or attend any social activity of any description, including a wedding, or a funeral.
“These arrests are in violation of the regulations,” Curwen said, but police have not zeroed in on the specific violations.
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