Over the past several weeks the RCIPS has received complaints from the community about excessive noise and nuisance being caused by possibly un-licensed events, particularly in the George Town Rock Hole and Washington Boulevard neighborhoods. In response to these complaints, officers from the Community Policing Department have joined with enforcement officers from the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI) to conduct a series of proactive patrols in George Town. The aim of these patrols is to speak to the organizers of any such events, ensure they are aware of the legal requirements for such gatherings, and potentially prosecute them for any violations.
During one such patrol this past Saturday, 8 September, a few locations were found to be playing loud music. The persons responsible were spoken to and warned to desist under section 12 of the Town and Community Law, with which they then complied. One of the persons was also informed by the DCI officers on how to apply for a license to host an event. Shortly after 12:00AM, officers also attended a location off Godfrey Nixon Way, and disrupted an after-party that was planned for the location.
“As the entity responsible for granting trade and business licenses, liquor licenses, and other related permits to the public, we are happy to be working closely with the police,” said Claudia Brady, Head of Compliance and Enforcement at DCI. “Our goal is to make sure that any event which requires a license is not conducted without such a license. We also want to ensure that once a license is obtained, the license holders abide by the requirements and conditions of that license. If not, persons will be prosecuted according to the law.”
The DCI is reminding the public of the following:
1. Section 17 of the Trade and Business Licensing Law requires that all persons conducting trade or business on the island possess a trade and business license. This includes events where food is sold.
2. Section 3 of the Liquor Licensing Law states that the disposal, exposure for sale, or offer for sale, of any intoxicating liquor shall only be carried out by a holder of a license under that law.
“The Community Policing Department has partnered with the DCI in responding to this area of community concern,” said Inspector Courtney Myles of the Community Policing Department. “While people do have the right to gather and socialize, the laws are in place so that the rights of others in the community to peace and quiet are respected. We know some people are ignorant of the laws, so we are taking this opportunity to educate. But those who are found knowingly in breach of the laws will be dealt with accordingly.”
Anyone needing assistance or information on how to obtain a trade and business license or liquor license can visit the Department of Commerce and Investment’s counter at the Government Administration Building.