Regional Commander for Region Four ‘C’ Police Division, Khali Pareshram has declared that the time for educating the public about the Covid-19 guidelines is over and now ranks are focused on prosecuting violators.
He was at the time being interviewed on the Guyana Police Force’s “Police and You” weekly programme on Tuesday last.
Commander Pareshram explained that initially, police officers had adopted a more lenient approach in light of the fact that the Covid-19 situation was new to everyone.
However, he noted that enough time has passed and persons should now be fully aware of when they are breaking the rules.
“Our posture at this time is that we are prosecuting, as I said we have finished the period of educating, we are now in prosecution mode,” he affirmed.
These enforcement operations are oftentimes conducted in collaboration with members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
The Commander explained that special courts have been established in his district to deal with cases of Covid-19 violations.
“Two weeks ago, we have commenced what we call the special COVID courts across the division that is on Wednesdays and Thursdays, where there are special sittings for persons with COVID offences,” he explained.
The Commander went on to express surprise at the number of persons who are still flouting the guidelines, especially by participating in large gatherings and putting themselves at risk of contracting the life-threatening virus.
He noted too that these violators are getting more creative.
“You would not know if there is a house party…because they are in such secured environments now. You would not even hear the music playing,” the Commander explained, noting that many business establishments are practicing similar methods in a bid to deceive the police.
To date, over 400 persons have been arrested and charged for various Covid-19 breaches within the division, the Commander noted.
Commander Pareshram went on to explain that enforcing the Covid-19 guidelines is putting officers at risk of contracting the virus since they are interfacing with persons who are also at risk.
Moreover, he said the enforcement operations are stretching the division’s resources.
“But whatever, we have to work within the confines to enforce [COVID-19 regulations] and at the same time, to ensure our anti-crime and traffic arrangements are in place, we have to work…we work with tens to hundreds of persons on a daily basis,” the Commander said.
He added: “We have been very effective in terms of enforcing; the thing is our resources have been stretched between our anti-crime traffic operations and the COVID enforcement. What I’m very thankful of is the commitment of my ranks during last year at the start of the pandemic to this date, they have been very committed to their job in providing that service to the division.”