The Shady Grove Police have announced a clampdown on unlicensed bars and what they consider to be unsafe party venues in the Lluidas Vale area of St Catherine.
Sergeant Oliver Johnson, head of the Shady Grove Police, said the venues banned include the PETCOM Gas Station premises, which has become a popular party spot.
“I get to understand that it (party) has been going on [at the gas station premises] for years. Keeping it for so long doesn’t mean that it is right. It is time for change and the time is now,” he declared during a meeting with business operators at Lluidas Vale Primary School yesterday, November 18.
Sergeant Johnson told The Beacon that the fear of an explosion prompted the decision regarding the gas station property.
“It is not safe to keep dances in a gas station because explosions can take place in it. So, if it has been going on, a review has been done and it has to be stopped abruptly… You can imagine a patron smokes a cigarette and leaves it in there; who is going to put out that explosion? What about the safety of the people in it? So it’s not a safe venue,” he reasoned.
Sergeant Johnson, in the meantime, told residents that the police will no longer grant permits for parties to be held at bars located along the roadway in Lluidas Vale.
“I am not going to recommend [permits for] bars that are right in the road because, if anything happens, I have to answer. There must be space [between the bar and the road] that people can stand up and dance,” he added.
The sergeant, who explained that permits are granted for either premises or bars, made it clear that persons who operate bars without a spirit licence will be prosecuted.
“If you use the bar [that does not have a spirit licence], don’t sell liquor in there because the bar will be in operation and you cannot operate a bar without a spirit licence… Violators will be getting their summons,” the sergeant warned.
One resident, in the meantime, questioned whether permits are likely to be granted for parties to be held inside another popular party venue – the Glenmore McLean Market. The resident also claimed that the bar inside the market does not have a spirit licence.
Sergeant Johnson, in response, said a permit can be granted for the market to be used as a venue.
“Once you can get it (the market), it is not a problem… You can’t use the bar [if] the bar nuh licensed. Suppose you have a stall or a table and pack it up… The bar is provided for under the law, but they don’t provide anything about stall,” Sergeant Johnson, pictured above, further told the residents.
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