Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2020. 6:43 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams is making a fresh appeal to adhere to outstanding COVID-19-related and other regulations, which he implied may have prevented two murders this past holiday weekend.
Murder victim Leon Peyrefitte, Williams noted, “…was in front of an establishment in Belize City, with his vehicle parked, the tailgate open, and was drinking in public. Now while that is no justification for the perpetrator of the crime, we’d like to appeal to the public to understand that public drinking is an offense. And especially in a time like this, when we are under quarantine, we really and truly want to appeal to the public to work with us as well as the health officials with a view to containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
The other victim, Shakeem Philip Davidson, was shot while playing basketball on the Yarborough Court, in violation of the current quarantine regulations, which as Williams reminds do not presently permit contact sports – “[including] basketball, football, baseball, and any sport that brings you into close contact with the opposing side, including rugby.” In contrast, non-contact sports include golf, volleyball, tennis, and table tennis.
Williams repeated that social parties and engagements are not permitted; the police distinguish between inviting family members for conversation and a meal and “playing loud music and having alcohol involved and these sorts of things.” And police do respond to these calls which take away from their time investigating and solving crime.
The Commissioner warned that “stores are becoming lax; people are being allowed to enter stores not properly wearing their face mask, or with no face mask at all. People are walking the streets with their face mask below their nose, and when they are arrested by the Police, they hurry halla, ‘I just take it down to take a breath or to drink water’ – and sometimes they have no water, or to eat a cookie and they have no cookie.”
Responding to reports that the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout in Cayo were refusing to comply, the Commissioner revealed he had gone to the village three times and by and large found few violations; indeed, on his appearance, some made sure to lift their facemasks in place to avoid a telling-off. The Police, he said, must continue to enforce the regulations to show that they are serious and over the holiday weekend there were a few arrests and a few more warnings concerning social engagements.
Violations of the Quarantine Regulations draw a fine of $5,000 and/or 2 years in prison.
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