Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, is advising citizens that the law of loitering will be ramped up by the TTPS over the coming weeks in an attempt to keep people from assembling in large numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement this afternoon, the Commissioner says this is being done in line with the request of the Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Security Council, Dr Keith Rowley, to members of the public to act in a very responsible way in the coming weeks.

Here is what the Commissioner of Police has to say below:

On Monday, the Prime Minister called on bars to be closed, restaurants to curtail their business, and for citizens not to assemble in large numbers in

an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The CoP says that while a large section of the population has adhered to the call by the Prime Minister, there would be a few which would refuse to comply and which could affect the health and safety of the citizens. He hopes that there would be no need to enforce the laws relating to loitering.

The CoP assures that over the coming weeks, the TTPS would increase its patrols across the country. He is confident that citizens would comply with the law relating to loitering. He wishes to advise that the patrols will be ramped up during the coming weeks as the authorities battle the COVID-19 virus which is already affecting the

world. This, he said, is being done for the welfare of the citizens and the directives of the State Commissioner Griffith hopes that the TTPS would not have to resort

to this, and he hopes that common sense would prevail.

The CoP says the TTPS would act in accordance with Section 45 (c) of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02 which states as follows:

IDLE AND DISORDERLY PERSONS

  1. A person committing any of the offences mentioned below in this section may be deemed an idle and disorderly person, and shall be liable to a fine of two hundred dollars, or to imprisonment for one month—

(a) any person who, being able by labour or other lawful means to maintain himself or his wife or child, where such wife or child is without other means of support, refuses or neglects to do so;

(b) any person wandering abroad or placing himself in any street to beg or gather alms, or causing or procuring or encouraging any child to do so;

(c) any person found sleeping or loitering in or under any building, including any open outhouse, verandah, gallery, passage, or gateway, or in any vehicle or vessel, without leave of the owner, occupier or person in charge thereof, or on or under any wharf, quay, jetty, bridge, footway, or in any street or other public place, and not

giving a good account of himself;

(d) any person who, without leave of the owner or occupier, affixes any placard or notice upon any building, wall, pillar, post, or fence, or otherwise defaces the same; (e) any person pretending or professing to tell fortunes.