Police Commissioner Milton Desir has taken a strong stance against persons who break the regulation requiring them to remain indoors during specific hours.
Saint Lucia is under such a regulation with curfew hours starting at 7:00pm – 4:00am
Some law enforcement officers found themselves in a situation during those hours arresting a bar owner and several other persons as a result.
It all began when police sought to quell a street party that was going on during curfew hours, in Soufriere, last Sunday and was allegedly attacked by persons who were at that party.
“Police came to correct that situation and persons chose to disregard the police, who were doing their job,” Police Commissioner Milton Desir said.
He has since lashed out at the perpetrators who defied law officers from performing their duties, three of whom were charged prior to press time yesterday.
The incident occurred at a bar in Baron’s Drive where it was reported that people gathered for a ‘carnival like’ event.
According to Desir, a group of individuals pelted police with stones and bottles when the officers intervened to try to stop the activity. The incident occurred at 8.00 pm – one hour after the 7.00 pm curfew hour.
In the ensuing melee, a police vehicle was damaged whilst the officers had to retreat and take cover from attacks from persons in the crowd.
“There will be no tolerance for lawlessness in Saint Lucia, especially when police are responding to incidents that is their responsibility” the police commissioner asserted, as he strongly condemned the Soufriere incident.
At a press conference, on Monday, Desir also called on the alleged perpetrators to surrender to the police by mid-day Tuesday (March, 9) or face the full consequences of the law.
“Don’t let the police come for you,” he warned.
Desir’s warning did not fall on deaf ears as several persons surrendered to police ahead of the mid-day deadline.
The commissioner vowed to not take this latest incident lightly, as reports state that the police previously had to confront some unruly behaviour outside curfew hours.
Meanwhile, police investigations led to the arrest of a Soufriere bar owner and some ten other people as they continue a probe into an attack on officers Sunday night.
The cops say they plan to arrest even more individuals. Reports further state that the bar owner appeared not to have a liquor licence. As a result, officers seized the bar’s alcohol.
Desir has warned bar owners that once they breach the COVID-19 operating protocols, he will ensure that their licences are suspended.