AG: There is no shortage of officers to enforce curfew

Attorney General Carl Bethel said yesterday that there should be no shortage of officers to properly enforce the 24-hour-curfew and lockdown that began yesterday morning to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I want you to bear in mind that it’s not only the Royal Bahamas Police Force or defense force,” he said.

“Remember the customs officers and immigration officers also have powers of peace officers, which means that’s within their own sphere. So, they have a certain amount of training and can always be deputized as well.

“So, we actually have thousands of trained peace officers and trained persons with military training who are able to be called to the forefront should the need arise.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis on Monday night ordered a 24-hour national curfew and the closure of airports, docks, ports and beaches throughout the country, with certain exceptions.

So far there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, but health officials say they expect a surge in cases.

Bethel expressed concern that some residents seemed to not be taking the lockdown seriously.

He noted that many people were still moving about the island yesterday morning.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“I still see plenty of cars traveling around here.”

Bethel added, “I find it difficult to conceive that I could count 30 cars right in front of this building going either way just looking at it. I hope people will get the message and take self-defensive measures.

“They say that the most basic instinct is the survival instinct, but we’re not showing this. I urge Bahamians to think seriously about the risks and only to leave your home if it is absolutely necessary for your sake, for your family’s sake and for our country’s sake.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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