By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
ASSISTANT Commissioner of Police Ashton Greenslade warned that the selling of alcohol at bars and private residences during the COVID-19 lockdown is not permitted. People who break the rules will be arrested and prosecuted.
This came as the island went into a two-week lockdown on Thursday evening to stem the surge in COVID-19 infections on Grand Bahama, which now has 120 cases, the largest number of cases in the country.
“We are asking business houses and bars that are supposed to be closed to please keep your doors closed…during the lockdown. We are also asking persons who tend to break the law selling alcohol from private residences to cease and desist forthwith,” warned the police chief.
He further said: “We have persons who feel they cannot live without alcohol and will sneak out… to go to these private residences for alcohol. We will arrest the buyer for being out, and arrest the person who is selling at their home without a business licence.”
According to Mr Greenslade, police have already arrested and charged a young man for reportedly selling alcohol at a private residence. “We discourage all illegal activity during this COVID period. We want residents of GB to follow the law so we all can get out of this pandemic at the end of the day”.
ACP Greenslade assured the public that there is sufficient police manpower in Grand Bahama for the COVID-19 lockdown, amidst reports that some officers are under quarantine.
“We have over shy of 400 officers on GB and the police stations are operational. We have a special task force to deal with COVID 19 that comprises 60 officers. We are more than ready for this challenge to make sure residents remain safe,” he stressed.
When asked how many officers are in quarantine, ACP Greenslade said: “I don’t have the figure (that is) in quarantine, but we have sufficient officers on the ground to deal with the situation. We don’t need help from Nassau.”
Patrols, he said, will be conducted throughout the island, and there will be police checkpoints and barricades at strategic locations checking vehicles. He said those persons permitted on the streets must wear masks and follow all other protocols.
Mr Greenslade said there is concern about places such as the fish fry in West End, Eight Mile Rock, Smith’s Point, and Williams Town where there are large groups of people not wearing masks.
Since March, the police have arrested and put about 100 people before the court for breaking COVID-19 laws, he said.
“We are asking citizens to cooperate and work with us.”