The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has received more than 130 tips about unauthorised parties and events since it made an appeal for persons to provide such reports on Friday (December 11).
Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay, said that the tips were received from citizens up to Sunday (December 13).
She was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Monday (December 14).
A ban has been placed on the staging of parties and events as part of measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
SSP Lindsay said that the police will be increasing its vigilance during the Christmas period in order to clamp down on events being held in breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act.
She said that the members of the Force will be scouring social media to find persons who are hosting these illegal activities.
“We are everywhere. We are policing social media and otherwise, so we are overtly and covertly searching for these events and we will be enforcing and prosecuting where breaches are detected. We have teams of persons who are trained and prepared, so we will be using force in numbers,” she pointed out.
In addition to the heightened risk of transmission of COVID-19 from attending these events, SSP Lindsay said that there is increased threat to the personal security of attendees due to the lack of involvement of the JCF.
“Prior to COVID-19, there was usually a [permit] process that involved the JCF and local authorities, and applications were investigated and reviewed where we looked at the background of the persons that were having these events. We did the necessary risk assessments around the event so we can put in the necessary policing strategies to support it,” she explained.
She noted that at least three unauthorised events held this year have had mass casualties.
“As a citizen of this country, when you make a decision to go to these events, think beyond the festivities; think beyond having a good time but note that there are persons attending these events with criminal intent, looking for an opportunity to strike when security is low and there is an absence of the police,” she said.
She urged citizens to be responsible and avoid the consequences of being present at these illegally staged events.
“Promoters will be held responsible and patrons will also be held accountable. Persons have been sending information about parties that were being held in the community and we are still getting them and we are encouraging persons to give us the information because it is important,” she said.
To report illegal events, persons can contact the JCF via WhatsApp or text message at 876-591-5671 or by tagging their social media pages at @JamaicaConstab.