Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith in response to the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago media release issued by the newly appointed Executive, said that law abiding citizens are open and willing to interact with members of the TTPS.
Commissioner Griffith made the following statement:
“True to form, in their very first statement since being appointed, they immediately express their acrimony and prejudice against the TTPS, by stating as follows:
1. “The presence of TTPS is not one to be shown to children in their homes.”
2. Voicing concern about “the militarized face of the TTPS which is the one which regrettably we have come to know over the past few years.”
3. Questioning the logic of the statement of caution as advised by the Honourable Prime Minister.
As it pertains to the first statement, LATT stands to be advised that the majority of the law-abiding citizens in Trinidad and Tobago, would indeed prefer to interact with Police Officers in uniform who have been placing themselves on the frontline constantly and consistently to ensure the safety and security of the nation, rather than any of the criminal element that enjoys the representation of defense attorneys under the LATT umbrella.
With respect to the second assertion, LATT voices their concern of the ‘militarizing of the TTPS’. One wonders whether those who crafted this statement are aware of the militarization of the gangs, inclusive of the types and veracity of the militarized weapons that they brandish against said law-abiding citizens on a daily basis?
One has to question whether the LATT is aware of the last two very public stores of illegal militarized weapons of war that the members of the joint national security framework intercepted and removed from said gangs?
Where is the LATT’s concern about this type of militarization against law-abiding citizens by rogue elements?
As it pertains to the statements related to the public/private space discussion in relation to the Public Health guidelines, perhaps I may elucidate for this organization that they refer to Section 133 of the Public Health Ordinance, it clearly states that the Police has such authority as stated by the Prime Minister, based on certain circumstances. For clarity, Section 133 is included below:
For the purposes of this Part of this Ordinance, any person authorized to act under the provisions hereof or of any regulations made in pursuance of any authority contained in this Part of this Ordinance may at any time, with or without assistance—
(a) enter on lands and buildings and inspect and examine the same and all things thereon or therein;
(b) do on any land or in any building any sanitary or other work authorised or directed;
(c) generally do, with respect to persons, places, land, building, animals, or things, whatever is necessary or expedient in order to carry out the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Ordinance, or any direction or requirement given or arising thereunder.
These are the very same circumstances that existed from the inception of the Public Health Ordinance, and have simply been re-iterated. The TTPS is not minded or guided to enter private homes to regulate family or small gatherings. The guidance remains where a gathering is considered a mass gathering, inclusive of payment thereby transforming the private space, into a public space.
To allude that the Police have intentions to simply barge into any home without due process and without good reason, displays the reckless nature of LATT, as this was never avowed. The COP wishes to advise law-abiding citizens not to be confused by the irresponsible comments made by a Law Association whose only releases are earmarked to discredit others and tell others how to do their job. At a time when relevant bodies should be persuading all to adhere to the guidance and direction of the State and work with the Police, unfortunately, we have one whose intention seems apparent to do just the opposite.
This clarification aside, we join the Prime Minister’s call to please adhere to good sense and guidance to ensure congregations within private spaces are limited within this time frame.