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Apr 29, 2020

Raging Fires Also Stretching Police Resources Thin

Aside from the cacao farm in Crique Jute, fires have been raging in Punta Gorda where overnight two houses were gutted by a blaze. Police and fire-fighters had to respond in an effort to stop the blaze from spreading to adjacent structures. While the blaze was brought under control, two structures in its path were completely destroyed. Officers have also been responding to reports of persons lighting fires and since a statutory instrument was imposed last week, three persons have been charged. ComPol Chester Williams says that the police officers have been stretched thin, but they are working to keep everyone safe.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“These fires have been a pain in the butt; it is exhausting, it is annoying. There is no word to describe the fires. I watched and read people horror story about the causes of these fires; people not being able to sleep at night. As a matter of fact, in my own office here I am having difficulty breathing because the smoke is here. We have been doing what we can in collaboration with other organizations and I must commend the Fire Department for working with us as well as the Department of Environment and we also have PACT who is also on board. We are trying to do what we can to be able to address these issues.   We are stretched extremely thin, but as the commissioner, I do not believe in working my people harder; I believe in working them smarter. And so we have been trying to see what we can do to be able to address these concerns while still ensuring that our officers are not overworked. I honestly believe that when you have officers who are overworked, you don’t get much from them.  I want to appeal to people, if you see someone lighting a fire, call us, call the fire department so that we can respond and catch these persons in the act. Most of the times when we respond to these fires is because the fire is far gone. The person who may have caused it is no longer around and it is difficult to find out who caused it. We had made a few arrests in instances where we were able to determine who caused the fire, but again this is something which we much deal with as a society.”

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