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Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has laid down the law for the New Year by putting citizens who plan to break the law that his charges will be on the lookout for them.

In keeping with the new normal, Commissioner Griffith has warned specifically against staging parties in breach of the COVID-19 regulations and the illegal sale and usage of fireworks in public spaces.

The hosting of parties in breach of the COVID protocols will no doubt be top of Commissioner Griffith’s agenda, given the heightened concern by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and the health authorities of several super-spreader events planned for the next few days into 2021.

Information received from the public has put Commissioner Griffith and his officers on high alert for the planned illegal events. From the information received, it would appear that some citizens are trying to take advantage of the loophole in the COVID regulations by fashioning their events as private gatherings of sorts to avoid action by the police. Armed with this information now, however, Commissioner Griffith will be able to deploy resources to some of the trouble areas, including Down the Islands, to break up such activity and arrest those in breach.

It remains quite unfortunate that some sectors of society continue to play Russian roulette with COVID-19, particularly now that we are aware there is a new strain ravaging Europe and forcing a fresh wave of shutdowns. Furthermore, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram is on record as saying it is quite possible this new variant may already be here. Given that scores of Trinidadians have been repatriated from that part of the world in recent weeks, we cannot look past how dangerous super-spreader events will be.

As such, this media house supports Commissioner Griffith’s initiative to shut down all the zesser and wesser events over the next few days. We hope, however, that it is done with equity across the board and the wessers do not get blighs.

On that note, we also support the TTPS’s initiative to pursue those unscrupulous individuals who put up unauthorised stands and sell fireworks to members of the public, as well as those citizens who buy and use them in communities, causing discomfort to other individuals’ lives.

The problem of the noise pollution caused by such devices has been raised by citizens annually for decades but no government has yet managed to put in place more stringent laws to ward of such activity. At the moment, the illegal use of fireworks is punishable by a mere $1,000 fine. This year, however, the TTPS can add the act of breaching COVID regulations if individuals using them are so in breach. Either way, it is likely the TTPS will also need John Public to assist them in ensuring that these two violations are exposed so that they can be eradicated for the welfare of the entire country.