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Commanding Officer for the Spanish Town Police Division, Superintendent Harry Daley, has said that there have been no reports of looting in the community prior to, during and after the passage of Hurricane Dean.
According to Superintendent Daley, this achievement was possible as a result of the hard work undertaken by the police in conjunction with members of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) and the District Constables, who rose to the challenge of policing the division.
“Prior to and after the hurricane, we have been able to curtail looting, break-ins and other such incidents within the division,” he stated.
“Patrolling the business community is how we were able to be where we are in terms of minimum breaking of the law; we were out there and for long hours because we wanted to be the standard by which other divisions are judged,” he explained.
He further noted that commendations must be given to the hard working and courageous men and women of the force as well as law abiding citizens.
“We found that working together in this time of disaster was very co-operative and the fire department and the police were the ones who spearheaded the efforts in Spanish Town,” he informed.
Commenting on the state of public emergency now in place across the island, the Commanding Officer stressed that the measure gives the security forces better control of the island in the midst of the disaster.
In explaining the implications for persons, who will be on the streets at night, Superintendent Daley noted that although the police would not want people out at that time considering that electricity supply has not yet been restored to all areas, if persons must, they should anticipate being stopped by the security forces.
In this event, persons will be required to explain the need for them to be on the streets. “We are guided by the constitution and we do not intend to be an obstacle to anyone and we will abide by the laws of the land,” he maintained.
The state of public emergency is decreed under the Emergency Powers Act, which explicitly states that under conditions such as a hurricane, the powers granted are for the preservation of peace, for securing and regulating the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel, light and other necessities, for maintaining the means of transit or locomotion, and for any purpose essential to the public safety and the life of the community.
According to the Constitution, the state of public emergency should be issued for one month, however, it may be revoked before the one-month period because the situation may change.