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Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

The following is a press release from the TTPS:

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, has launched an immediate investigation into a report that about 15 persons blocked Bridge Road, Sangre Grande, with burning debris last night in protest of the reported removal of COVID-19 patients from the Couva Hospital to a building in their area.

As a result of the protest, Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, Anil Juteram, is assisting the Police in this investigation. Around 10:00 pm on Friday 3rd April 2020, police responded to a report and on arrival found Bridge Road blocked with burning debris. There were about 15 persons present. Based on information received, the persons were protesting the apparent relocation of the patients to a refurbished Home for the Age in Sangre Grande. Police removed the protestors while the burning debris was extinguished by fire officers. Commissioner Griffith has since launched an investigation into this protest. He made it quite clear months ago, and he is doing so again, that persons would not be allowed to block roads and burn tyres as was done in the past. The CoP says the days of protests by residents, who break the law because they are dissatisfied with problems in their communities, will not be tolerated. He says anyone seen in the vicinity of such protests, will be interviewed for lengthy periods to assist the police as to who are responsible for these protests. The CoP says, “You have your right to protest, you have your right to assembly, you have your right to march, but we need to understand that your right could never supersede and override the laws of Trinidad and Tobago or the rights of others.” Members of the public are asked to like and follow the TTPS via our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest news and information on matters of interest to the general public. 2 He says the Police were not seeking to deprive people of their right to protest, but says there is a thin line between having rights and breaching the law. Video footage showing people at the scene of the protest will form part of the investigation. The CoP says the Police would not hesitate to act and arrest persons in accordance with the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02, Section 64 (1) (n) which states: * Any person who commits any of the following offences in any street is, for each offence, liable to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for one month, that is to say, any person who: (n) in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage of any street.