POLICE Commissioner Gary Griffith is advising the public that the police do have the authority to prevent people from committing acts such as having Covid-19 house parties during this period of lockdown.
In a release, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service stated, “In the same manner that bank and supermarkets representatives understood the authority that the police have and they adhered to what is required, the COP is humbly asking all responsible citizens not to be baited with the false perception that they can do as they please during this period, based on the fact that it is in their private home.”
Griffith said there were a number of options under the law that police could use if any citizen becomes irresponsible and decides to commit actions, even in their own homes, that can affect the lives of others during this period.
The release listed some of the options:
- Public Health Ordinance – Section 133 – Giving police right to power at that time to enter any land or building to save lives.
- Public Nuisance – Section 70 of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02.
- Based on neighbors sending complaints to the Police of excess noise, the Police can intervene and stop such events due to Noise Pollution, contrary to the EMA Act, Section 51.
- If the Police are aware, via intelligence that there is an event, even on private property, of illegal activities, be it human trafficking, drugs on premises, lewd dancing etc., they can acquire a warrant and would do so and get it in minutes, and would indeed raid the said premises as given such authority in the Summary Courts Act, Chapter 4:20, Section 41.
- The TTPS would also be waiting for such individuals who leave such events and would be greeting them via road-blocks, whereby Breathalyzers and searches of their vehicles would also take place.