Sergeant Oliver Johnson, head of the Shady Grove Police Station in the Lluidas Vale area of St Catherine, said he will not recommend permits for promoters who, based on his investigation, may not be willing to end their parties at the time specified in law.

He noted that, under the ongoing state of public emergency in the parish, the lock-off time remains 11PM.

“Permit is being given out until 11 o’clock, but to particular persons – persons who the police know will lock off when 11 o’clock comes,” the sergeant said during a meeting with event promoters at Lluidas Vale Primary School on Monday, November 18.

He continued: “When 11 o’clock comes, a lot of people don’t want to turn off because to them dance just start, nuh money nuh mek, [and] people a come in. And there are persons who will lock off 11 o’clock.”

Sergeant Johnson also said he is waiting to see if Prime Minister Andrew Holness will extend the hours to facilitate the festive season.

“I don’t want to say it is going to happen and it may not happen,” he declared. “The fact that it is holiday, I believe the prime minister will relax the hours to assist people to gain some benefit whether financial or otherwise.”

The sergeant, in the meantime, encouraged promoters to apply early for permits.

“It is 10 days for the application for us to carry out our investigation, and it (the application) takes some times at the Superintendent’s office. We say two weeks and, when you apply two weeks early, it allows you that, in the event that it is turned down, you can apply to the Commissioner – and you have another seven days to apply to the Commissioner of Police. It is better when you apply early,” he further advised.

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By Mills