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Police officers attached to the Highway Patrol Unit question motorists who were stopped during a roadblock along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, El Socorro, yesterday.

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Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi says the spate of roadblocks across the country yesterday were “a part of policing” and was necessary to deal with the scourge of crime.

“Roadblocks, yes, we have a very aggressive and active Commissioner of Police,” the AG during the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 virtual press conference yesterday.

He assured that the Government was not in the dark about the actions of the police, which caused massive traffic gridlocks across the country.

“Roadblocks are a feature of policing. And in this time of different management of the population, the Commissioner of Police did say quite some time ago expect roadblocks, expect activities as such as this,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the very best efforts of Trinidad and Tobago citizens as a whole, residents as a whole, there are people who are determined to continue with criminality, which means the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Government have kept a very keen eye on activities.

“Yes it’s a feature of COVID, why is it going on, it’s just general policing and we are intent on dealing with the scourge of criminality in this society at all measures.”

The Attorney General also addressed concerns that some ministries may have been calling out workers who have little to do currently, yet are deemed essential.

“Ministries are all essential workers and the public service, the large portion of the public service, has been captured by that. What we did as a Government is that we administratively had each of the permanent secretaries, heads of divisions, manage staff on a rotational basis.

“It depends upon workload, people who have risks, people who have responsibilities. So there’s been a very fluid and flexible approach in the public service to this,” he said.

He added, “It is important, sometimes someone may not consider that they are an essential service, but tell the person who has to receive a cheque at the end of the month for COVID relief that that cheque is not important and you’ll find a different situation. So we don’t expect that everyone is going to be happy about the rotation, we know that the public service is under constant watch.”

Al-Rawi also said a level of evaluation was being done with regard to those working from home at this time.

“Each of the ministries are in the process of measuring productivity in the remote environment, so we’re being very careful so that we can check the workflow on the work at home basis as we ensure that people are getting their dollars’ worth from paying us as public servants for what we do,” he said.