Commissioner of police Gary Griffith has clarified the Trinidad and Tobago police service position in the issue of police officers entering the property of citizens in relation to possible breaches of covid-19 regulations. A debate ensued after Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley announced last week that police , under section 133 were empowered to enter private property if they felt that covid-19 regulations were being breached and citizens lives were being put at risk.
The Law association in a subsequent release countered the Prime Minister’s comments saying that the law did not provide for that PM’s interpretations, and that Constitutional rights could be infringed. Commissioner Griffith speaking on Power 102’s Power Breakfast Show clarified the position of the police service saying: “We will not breach the constitutional rights of citizens. If we do enter private property, it would be solely based on the authorisation given to us by the law, such as section 133”:
The Commissioner stressed that it is not that police had any intention to ” barge into homes” during family and private gatherings. He outlined that as he said in the past, persons who transform their private homes into ‘public ‘ spaces by holding functions and charging entry fees etc, can be subject to a different paradigm, which may be applied:
Commissioner Griffith asked the population to abide by the regulations in an effort to help the country deal with the recent upsurge in covid-19 cases and to protect the lives of fellow citizens.