Once a State of Emergency is not invoked, officers of the TTPS will be the only ones, if necessary, to arrest and charge any citizen for any unlawful acts during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This assurance was given by Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.
From Monday, the country will operate using certain “stay at home” measures, which allows citizens to leave their homes only if they need to visit, or are a part of, essential businesses such as banks and Government Ministries.
The Government has also advised that persons can still visit pharmacies and groceries, but they must do so quickly before they return home.
Griffith said, “The main objective of the measures being instituted would be for the police to ensure that citizens exercise social distancing when they go out, so as to not spread the Corona Virus. At this juncture, we remind the population that gatherings of 10 persons or more is not allowed.”
Griffith said he acknowledges that despite repeated calls for citizens to observe social distancing, there are some who are determined to operate selfishly and create potential problems for other persons.
“We note and caution against some of the bars and gambling houses that are still operating, and against some of the restaurants that still have in-house dining etc.”
But effective midnight on Sunday, 85 ERP patrols, ably assisted by 100 motorcycles, as well as joint patrols with the Defence Force will be operating 24/7 to ensure citizens adhere to the regulations, “and to ensure that those who see
this as an opportunity for criminality are persuaded to second guess that temptation.”
Griffith added, “As Commissioner of Police, I give the assurance to the public that our officers will be acting professionally and will be interacting with the public in a courteous manner. I need to point out however, that we are willing to do all that’s necessary to ensure the safety and security of the majority of citizens and as such will not tolerate persons flouting the regulations.”
He said the TTPS shall always, as its first course of action, attempt to use moral suasion and reason with members of the public to ensure compliance with both the spirit of the regulations and the regulation itself.
He urged citizens to comply with the amendments made to the Public Health Ordinance.
“The main objective of the measures being instituted would be for the police to ensure that citizens exercise social distancing when they go out, so as to not spread the Corona Virus. At this juncture, we remind the population that gatherings of 10 persons or more is not allowed.”
The TTPS also advised that essential workers require no passes to traverse the roads but should be prepared to answer and justify their activity if questioned by a Police Officer.
He said, “We are looking forward to cooperation from the citizenry and in return, we promise to keep you safe, secure and hopefully as far as possible healthy.”
He said the actions of the Police Service will be guided by the law.