Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith insists police officers continue to operate within the parameters of the law and will enforce it.
His comment was in response to public backlash over how the situation was handled at a private pool party in Bayside Towers.
Griffith said where a private residence is, however, used for the hosting of a public, ticketed event, “this becomes a public space” and in that case, “the regulation charges will be implemented, and charges laid.”
Griffith acknowledged that many incidents involving the enforcement of law come across as uneven to the general public, causing disquiet in the national community.
He said they can be resolved with clarity as to the interpretation of the regulations, supported by public awareness campaigns, and simple citizen responsibility.
“Law enforcement officers are being placed in too many situations requiring this type of interpretation and leaving them exposed to the public’s ire, undermining morale at the worst possible time,” Griffith said.
“The most recent public debate pertains to the issue of public versus private property/spaces and should the public health ordinance relate to both spaces. This is further exacerbated by the underlying issues of perception of bias, as it pertains to class, location, social strata, and race,” he added.
For those who are thinking about having private parties at their respective private residences or properties, Griffith sent out a reminder: “Please be reminded that the intent is not to stop anyone from enjoying their freedoms, it is to support the Public Health Regulations. As such, if anyone takes it upon themselves to host such within their private spaces, the responsibility of the Public Health fallout will rest squarely upon yours and your guest’s shoulders.”
“In terms of the regulations in and of themselves, we have sought and received a number of variations of interpretations, and we look forward to the Government’s clarity moving forward,” he added.