Lockdown – First Prosecutions

April 9, 2020

As John Borg explained, the new Covid-19 (Restricted Movement) (Jersey) Order 2020 provides the authorities with the power to fine those in breach of its provisions.

 The Order came into force on 30th March 2020 and we have already seen the prosecution of four people.  One person was arrested on 4th April 2020 in Millennium Park and spent two nights in custody before appearing before the Magistrate’s Court.  He was fined £500.00.  Two other individuals were arrested on 6th April 2020 after Police had found them drinking in a public place at Havre Des Pas.  They were fined £500.00 and £300.00 respectively.  A further individual was fined £400.00 after having been caught drinking in a public place near the Arts Centre.

 In all of the prosecutions the individuals had been seen repeatedly breaching movement restrictions before they were arrested.  The individuals arrested at Havre Des Pas had been spoken to by Police on 31st March and 4th and 5th April 2020, before being arrested.  On each occasion the pair had been warned not to congregate in public.  At present, the Police appear to be taking a very measured approach to the enforcement of the restrictions.  All those prosecuted had been given multiple words of warning before being arrested.

 As we go into what promises to be a warm and sunny Easter weekend it is only natural that we will all want to be outside as much as possible.  It is important that Islanders remember that they must not go to or remain in a public place without having a reasonable excuse (such as exercise, or shopping for essentials).  The Police and the Courts have shown that they will prosecute those who persistently flout the law and those that do can expect a heavy fine.  As Magistrate Shaw has told some of those convicted: “This is not a game.”

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