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No arrests yet over S.O.E. orders

The Police have yet to make an arrest in connection orders issued by the Government under the coronavirus state of emergency (S.O.E.).

Three days away from when the first S.O.E. will be reviewed and a decision made on its continuation, Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, said despite some challenges, so far so good. 

“So far, no one has been charged," he said. "We haven’t written any tickets even though we are authorised to issue tickets."

He added that for the Samoa Police Service is responsible with implementing the State of Emergency orders.

“If you receive a ticket [for breaching the orders] you have to pay a fine within 24 hours and if you do not pay then you will get locked up.

“The spirit of these things is that we do not want to lock anyone up because we want everyone to be compliant. Bu there are some people that are still resisting.”

The Police Commissioner has added that in cases where some are not compliant with the orders, Police officers are sent to issue warnings.

“Police officers talk to the people and issue them warnings. But the last resort is putting handcuffs on them, people and the whole world are uneasy right now and the last thing we want is make things worse.”

Fuiavailiili again urged members of the public to cooperate with the Police in enforcing the orders.

“When police are trying to enforce orders of the S.O.E. they are also coming away from their other core duties such as responding to robberies or domestic violence but this will stretch the police department.

“Do yourself a favour and assist with Government orders which are for your benefit and the whole country.”

The S.O.E. orders include the prohibition of public gatherings of more than five people at any public place. 

Church gatherings, sports events, and entertainment gatherings are included.

All nightclubs, bars, theatres, bars attached to restaurants or hotels, or any other public place people accustom for social gatherings are to be closed.

All people are prohibited from gathering at airports or wharves unless it is for permitted travel.  

All owners of restaurants are: prohibited from opening to customers for dining in; and permitted to provide customers with food to take away, for consumption away from a public place (at home). 

The operation of public transport such as buses and vans that carry more than five people are prohibited.

 

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