Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is concerned that citizens are now breaking the law in an effort to have their grievances highlighted in the media, in the hope that they can pressure the authorities to act accordingly.
In a release on Saturday, Griffith focused on three separate incidents within the last few days.
The first reportedly involved the orchestrated act by certain residents in Moruga, where roads were blocked with debris in an effort to transmit their concern over the selection of a political candidate.
Griffith said CCTV and media footage would be used to have people brought in for questioning.
He advised the public, “As we approach a general election, that any such acts, inclusive of those who block roads in an effort to have their concerns aired as it pertains to public utilities being provided for the community, the police would take the necessary action and those responsible would be arrested pursuant to Section 64 N of the Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02, and further to which, if any public protest is made without the requisite permission they would be arrested pursuant to Section 109 of the Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02.”
The second incident allegedly involved an activist who also had a concern in relation to a road being constructed.
The COP said, “Quite coincidentally, the media was briefed in advance and on location to get the proper footage to see him being arrested because of him breaking the law.”
Such people, he said, would be arrested forthwith, pursuant to Section 46 of the Police Service Act Chapter 15:01 for breaching the peace and, or obstruction of the police in the execution of their duty, or, unlawful protesting pursuant to Section 109 of the Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02.”
Earlier this week, several activists also held silent protests outside the home of the Prime Minister.
Griffith reminded that for such actions, they required approval from the COP, upon which it was submitted and approval was given.
Failure to acquire such approval and persons are gathered, they can be arrested for a breach of Section 109 of the Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02.
The COP said, “It is the constitutional right of any citizen to freedom of speech. However, there are also laws that all must adhere to whilst protesting and adhering to your Constitutional right to protest.”