Police ramping up holiday activities

Community Police Department officers visit a local store to talk to business owners and staff about security and safety during the Christmas holiday season.

Police have made 32 DUI arrests, including one in which the driver was three times over the legal and six which were twice over the limit, since the beginning of December.

As part of the holiday season crackdown on illegal road activities, police have also arrested 11 people on suspicion of driving while disqualified or driving without being qualified, issued 21 tickets for speeding, and 150 tickets for illegal tint.

According to a RCIPS press release, the police service once again has partnered with the National Drug Council in support of the 18th annual Designated Driver and New Year’s Eve Purple Ribbon Bus Campaigns. In the former, local restaurants and bars are offering designated drivers complimentary soft drinks, while the latter involves a free bus service on New Year’s Eve from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. The service runs between West Bay and Bodden Town every 15 minutes, with occasional service to East End and North Side.

“You don’t need to refrain from drinking as you participate in the festivities during the holiday season,” said Inspector Ian Yearwood of the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit. “However, if you do intend to drink, it is essential that you make plans in advance for alternative transportation, whether that be a designated driver, a taxi, or the Purple Ribbon Bus on New Year’s Eve. Whatever the situation, there is no excuse for choosing to drink and drive.”

Police are also ramping up their crime and robbery prevention initiatives during the holiday season. Community Police officers have been conducting evening foot patrols this week in main commercial areas around the island to increase visibility and as reassurance to business owners and shoppers.

“Businesses are open later this week to accommodate shoppers in the days leading up to Christmas,” said Inspector Courtney Myles of the Community Policing Department, “and we recognize that it is important for people to feel a degree of security into the later evening and up to closing time to get their shopping done. Greater police visibility offers that reassurance, especially in the form of foot patrols.”

In addition to the main shopping areas in central George Town, officers will also be conducting foot patrols in commercial areas throughout the districts, also focusing on visits to smaller businesses.

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 19, Community Policing Department officers were on foot patrol near the four-way stop in West Bay, stopping into the gas station, diner and electronics store and checking in with proprietors.

“In addition to neighbourhood watches, we are also trying to encourage a business watch in West Bay,” said SPC Leslie Franklin, Beat Officer for Morgan’s Harbour (Beat 12). “Businesses have different needs and concerns and can benefit from joining forces and working closely with police.”

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