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Photo: Divisional Commander for District ‘A’, Superintendent Henry and Chair of COVID-19 Task Force Abdias Samuel conducting sensitisation session with persons who were apprehended by the Police for breach of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations. 

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 26, 2020 (RSCNPF): The Police hosted a sensitisation session on April 24, with persons who were apprehended for breaching the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations.

They were taken into Police custody on April 23 after they were found congregating in a public space without wearing masks and not practicing social distancing. The group comprised six nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis and five nationals of the Dominican Republic. The Police have been warning persons found breaching the Regulations, and saw an opportunity to ensure that these individuals were aware of the current restrictions and safety protocols. The session took place at Police Headquarters.

Divisional Commander for District ‘A’, Superintendent Cromwell Henry, represents the Police on the National COVID-19 Task Force. In keeping with the mandate to educate the public, Superintendent Henry invited the Chair of the Task Force, Abdias Samuel to assist with the session.

Mr. Samuel spoke with the Spanish-speakers in the group in their native language and highlighted the importance of social distancing and avoiding social gatherings.

“I asked them to cooperate with the Police. They are a vulnerable group in our society…we know that the Police is making a good intervention on their behalf for their own safety and security,” he said while giving an overview in English of his presentation.

Mr. Samuel felt that they were very responsive to the information given and said that they apologized for their actions. One of the persons arrested disclosed to Mr. Samuel that they own a small bar, but had not opened the establishment since the state of emergency.

Superintendent Henry, while addressing the English-speaking persons, implored them to go online and familiarize themselves with the regulations and other information related to the COVID-19 pandemic on official government sites and reliable news sources so they can stay informed.

He advised them that breaching the Regulations was tantamount to breaking the law

“When you speak or when you sneeze droplets extend at least three feet, so if the droplets go out three feet and you give another three feet again, it makes it a little more difficult to transfer [the virus]…” Superintendent Henry explained. “So it is a law that you must maintain social distance… if you get charged and you are convicted, that will go on your record…”

Although no charges were brought against the individuals, they were cautioned that any repeat offences will result in prosecution.

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