Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, in response to questions about officers having issued only warnings despite what were described as ‘significant’ weekend breaches of COVID-19 protocols, told reporters on Tuesday that the police can exercise discretion based on the situation at hand.
On Monday, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) reported issuing a total of 189 warnings in connection with weekend violations of mass crowd, home party, bar operation and mask wearing regulations.
The warnings included 143 for curfew violations, but a police statement did not mention any arrests.
“We realise that especially since it is our first major operation since the COVID spike, we have been doing the day to day but it was a major operation, the commanders on the ground having seen the what happened have taken the decision to allow persons to give them warnings so that we on the next occasion persons will be arrested,” the Police Commissioner explained.
“The law is still in effect – the COVID legislation is still in effect and we shall enforce the law as per the legislation, but the police will use discretion as they see fit,” Desir stated.
He said effective, strong warnings were given.
“Not to give a chance, it is a warning and those persons who were warned their names and numbers, everything was taken and then on a next occasion if that happens again, I could surely tell you that they will be taken into custody,” Desir said.
Headline photo from social media