Assistant Superintendent of Police Rodney Ellis is reminding residents that wearing a mask in public is mandatory, even when a person is alone.
His comment comes after Jason “Mudman” Shaw reports that he was stopped by the Police on the night of March 24 while on his way home.
Shaw says he was walking, alone, on Popeshead Street when an unmarked police vehicle pulled up before him. Initially, he says, he thought it was a robbery, and was getting ready to run.
However, he heard a male voice shouting, “Don’t move. We are ticketing you for not wearing a mask.”
According to Shaw, two police officers dressed in black and two Defence Force soldiers exited the vehicle and approached him. He claims they did not identify themselves, but repeated that he would be receiving a ticket for not wearing a mask.
Shaw, a community activist, says he tried to explain to the officers that he had removed his mask since he was walking by himself. But they issue him a ticket for breaching that Regulation – though, at first, he refused to take it.
Ellis says that being alone in public is not an excuse. Regulations dictate that a mask must be worn in public at all times, the senior officer says.
Meanwhile, Ellis agrees that officers must exercise some discretion depending on the case. He says that Shaw should have been given a warning before being ticketed.