Sunday 26 May, 2019

Looting blamed on young Dominicans

Forty people have been arrested for criminal offences and 80 for violation of curfew as Dominican law enforcement cracks down on looting in the hurricane-ravaged country.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Davidson Valerie, Dominica’s deputy police chief, said the situation is now under control.

He said in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, young people in Roseau, the capital, and Portsmouth targeted business places to loot.

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He said it took some effort but the situation is now controlled with foreign police working alongside the Dominican forces to patrol the streets.

He said it was sad to see the behaviour of the young people who needed to understand that they were destroying their own survival as the police could not deal with the urgent rescue missions because they were distracted by lawlessness.

He sent a clear message to anyone thinking of violating the 4 pm to 8 am curfew, that without a permit, they will be arrested on sight.

Speaking further on the security arrangements on the island, Daniel Carbon, the Chief of Police, assured that despite rumours the port is safe and secured.

He said Dutch army personnel along with members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force have secured the port and are manning operations there.

He said there has been a number of military support from the region with Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia sending in troops. More is expected from Jamaica and St Vincent shortly.

He revealed that there was a prison breakout on Sunday with four prisoners escaping. Two were shot and recaptured and are hospitalised.

In praising his officers, Carbon said there were no fatalities among the police. However, the overall death toll on the island stands at 27, with 27 confirmed missing and 18 unconfirmed.

In his earlier address, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said clean-up operations have begun with some roads now cleared.

He said both Digicel and Flow are restoring service throughout the island and electricity will be restored to essential services first during the week.

A massive food distribution campaign is expected to begin by tomorrow in all communities. He urges citizens to line up in an orderly fashion to receive the supplies.

Skerrit also announced that clean-up teams will be mobilised in each community and they will be paid from a US$3 million fund from the United Nations Development Programme for clean-up purposes.

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