By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE video of a woman on a private beach has been shared by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) on their social media sites.
The police is asking if anyone has information about her to report it to the police.
The video was posted on Saturday, the same day Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley emphasised that no one was above the law during a press conference especially when it was related to Covid-19 restrictions.
The TTPS stated, “The TTPS is reminding citizens that ALL beaches, rivers, and water parks remain closed in accordance with the Public Health Ordinance regulations. There is nothing as a PRIVATE or PUBLIC BEACH.
Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the person in this video is asked to contact the Police at 999, 555, the Police App or WhatApp 482-GARY.”
In the video, the woman was recorded saying, “Some of you guys are having a problem that we are on this beach but this is our private beach, our private land, we are not risking anybody’ s lives because it’s just us family here, we know each other’s whereabouts, we know who we are around.We are fortunate to have this view, so don’t complain on Facebook again.”
The video was shared almost 3,000 times on Facebook as of 12 noon on Sunday.
The posting of the video follows that of persons having a pool party at gated community Bayside Towers in Cocorite.
There has been much debate about why they were not arrested and charged.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, once again issued a release explaining why police could act in terms of arrest in certain situations.
In a release on Sunday, Griffith said he was disappointed with Rowley who stated that the police should have intervened more strongly in the issue at Bayside Towers.
He said, “The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) notes with some degree of disappointment the comments of the Honorable Prime Minister yesterday where he alluded to and/or insinuated that the TTPS failed to do its job as it related to the matter involving a party held poolside at Bayside Towers in Cocorite.
“In effect, the TTPS was thrown under the proverbial bus.”
Griffith said, “The TTPS stands ready and committed to enforce all laws passed by the Government, however, we must be wary of simply responding to public or political pressure especially as it relates to potentially abusing the rights of individuals and/or acting illegally in a quest to satisfy public or political pressure.
“The simple question before the TTPS is can we enter private property without a warrant and charge persons for committing violations of the Public Health Ordinance simply because they number more than five? We have sought and received several legal opinions on this and are indeed comfortable with our current interpretation of the law and therefore our response to the matter at hand.”
Referring to the general election last month, Griffith stated, “The TTPS recalls that the number established by the Ordinance at the time of the general election was ten yet we heard no outrage at that time when all political parties were pushing the limits of the law. And in those instances, there was no question of private versus public space.
“We did then what we did in Bayside; caution persons!” With more clarification on the Bayside issue,” Griffith, said.
He said, “Is the issue with this Bayside matter the number of people, or the fact it was a party, or the fact it was on social media, or the fact that they are perceived as rich?
“As the TTPS, we respond to breaches of the Public Health Ordinance. We don’t respond to perceptions of race, creed, or class. The average citizen can only enter Bayside if invited. Someone invited those people there.
Bayside Residential Association has it within their rules to control these issues among themselves. They are the communal owners of that property. In this particular case, it was the very neighbors inside Bayside that called to complain, and TTPS responded.
“By the time we arrived, we saw nothing in terms of numbers or activities consistent with what was shared on social media.”