Saturday 4 July, 2020

Top Cop defends roadblocks, slams 'selfish' people

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is defending the increased road checks by officers across Trinidad and Tobago, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, police ramped up roadblocks across the country after officers noticed an increase in vehicular traffic, despite Government's stay at home orders.

Griffith issued a statement on Tuesday on his Facebook page, in which he slammed those 'selfish' people who have been traversing the nation's roads to carry out non-essential activities.

He said some people have argued that it is their constitutional right to be on the road 'when and where they please.'

However, Griffith added that the police will not infringe on the rights of citizens, but will not allow them to disregard the laws.

The full statement below:

"To those persons who are critical about the road checks being conducted, Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, says, "What some see as a "problem", I see as something that is a powerful tool to save lives. The TTPS is not causing the problem. We want to reduce the problem? Then those who are being irresponsible and immature by not adhering to a basic policy, should simply do what is required and stay at home. If that is done, and only those employed in essential services, or going to acquire goods and services go out, then there would be no traffic "problems". But this is about persons being selfish. They are insisting that they have constitutional rights to go where and when they please. To those, I say "you are correct. It is your constitutional right to be selfish and irresponsible. It is your constitutional right to travel wherever you want that can lead to your death. It is your constitutional right to use your car to go elsewhere when it is not essential that can cause the death of others. It is your constitutional right to be a transporter of the virus by getting it where you go, then give it to your loved ones when you return home." I would ensure that the Police would not infringe on those who demand on having those constitutional rights to harm themselves or others. But I would not give you the green light to go about doing it. If what I do provides a deterrent to save lives, I would so do. It is not my responsibility to make popular decisions. It is my responsibility to make decisions to preserve lives whilst not affecting constitutional rights. What some see as a problem, I see as a solution."

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