Cabinet agrees to approve the use of pepper spray

Cabinet agrees to approve the use of pepper spray

Attorney General, Faris Al-Rawi said that Legislation which will allow the use of pepper spray will soon come.

Minister Al-Rawi made the announcement tonight at the People’s National Movement virtual meeting in Belmont.

The AG said the legislation has been approved by Cabinet today.

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”Do we support the approval of pepper spray as a device for safety that the National Security Council, I am pleased to report to you, has approved. And I can tell you I have drafted the law already because of the direction of the Prime Minister after the Minister of National Security did the prudent thing to bring policy approved by experts as to what should be done. Because it is a double edged sword because in the wrong hands it can be used against you. But we deserve a fighting chance.”

Meanwhile the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat sought to clear his statement on the use of pepper spray and it being effective –

See below –

“In the wrong hands and in particular circumstances” pepper spray could be more lethal than a firearm. This is what I said yesterday in the Senate while making it clear that the Government will bring to Parliament legislation on non-lethal weapons. I was responding at the time to Independent Senator Paul Richards’ Motion calling for legislation on non-lethal weapons and the Senator’s description of pepper spray as a non-lethal weapon. I said expert advice had to be taken and the appropriate policy and legislation crafted, because even though it is described as non-lethal, in the wrong hands and in particular circumstances, pepper spray can be more dangerous than a firearm. Before doing that I reminded Senators that even though both tasers and pepper spray were in use for decades outside Trinidad and Tobago, it was only in January 2021 the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service used the Taser and pepper spray legally, in two separate incidents. Legislation is still required because there are cases in which pepper spray can become more dangerous and even deadly. For example, poorly designed and manufactured pepper spray devices can break apart and accidentally dispense spray that is 2-3 times the Scoville Units of Moruga Scorpion. Compared to firearms which have multiple safety features, there are pepper spray devices with no safety features. Unlike a firearm, pepper spray used in windy conditions can blow back on the user with deadly consequences. If the user has allergies it can trigger a reaction making the user more vulnerable than the person against whom the spray is used. So my point was that with pepper spray and what are called non-lethal weapons, the Government still needed expert advice which has been received, to deal with the series of issues concerning standards, ownership, sale, training, storage, handling, managing risks with children, etc before deciding on what comes to Parliament in relation to non-lethal weapons for citizens to carry. I ended by making it clear that the Government is concerned, aware, willing and preparing itself to do what has to be done to afford a greater level of protection to all citizens.”

 

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