by Linda Straker
- 403 fixed tickets were over the 3-week period
- Rapid Response Unit issued in excess of 229
- Violators liable to a fine not exceeding EC$1,000
Within the past 3 weeks, the revenue from fixed penalty tickets for breaching the Emergency Powers Regulations surpassed EC$220,000 as over 400 tickets were issued to people who were found in violation.
Most of the tickets were issued by the Rapid Response Unit (RRU). “The RRU has taken on the brunt of this work, and they have issued in excess of 229 tickets,” said John Mitchell, Assistant Commissioner of Police.
He explained that while Grenada is in the State of Emergency and there are regulations outlining the behaviour of citizens, there are some who are still unaware of their legal obligation. Others are just defiant. “There are persons who just do not understand or do not know or are ignorant with regards to what the regulations say and with those persons, we are very much more tolerant in terms of explaining, and generally we have compliance at the end.” Mitchell said, “There is also a sector of persons who, for whatever reason, continue to be belligerent and hostile to some of the regulations.”
In total, 403 fixed tickets were over the 3-week period. According to the regulations, individuals who contravene or fail to comply with the Emergency Powers Regulations shall be guilty of an offence and, on summary conviction, is liable to a fine not exceeding EC$1,000 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.
However, the regulations also say that “Without prejudice to sub-regulation (1), a person who commits an offence is liable on service of a fixed penalty notice by a police officer, if the person so chooses, to a fixed penalty of $550.”
If all individuals who were issued tickets pay their fines within the allotted period of 31 days, Government’s revenue will be EC$221,650. Once a fixed ticket is paid, the individual will not be convicted for the offence and there will be no criminal record against that individual.
As part of the wider strategy to contain and control the outbreak of Covid-19, Grenada is currently under the State of Emergency and, as of early September enforced emergency regulations that among other things restricts the movement of citizens. The past 4 weekends were declared as no-movement days and citizens remained within their homes unless they were going to be vaccinated or tested for Covid -19.
Apart from issuing most of the tickets, the RRU confiscated a wide cross-section of commonly used items that can be used as weapons. “Additionally, that Unit continues to excel in terms of retrieving weapons. Over 41 weapons including cutlasses, knives, scissors would have been retrieved by the RRU. Every weapon that is been retrieved, that is taken out from the street, means that it’s the possibility of one less offence occurring,” Mitchell said.