The Police Service has issued a warning to the organisers of the proposed ‘Drive for Progress’ motorcade and protest demonstration carded for November 6th that any such activity would be illegal, as no permission has been granted for it to take place.
In an official statement on the matter, the TTPS states that it has taken note “of several social media posts in which a particular body is observed to be encouraging its members and citizens to ‘Drive for Progress’.”
“The TTPS reminds citizens that, currently, Trinidad and Tobago remains under a State of Emergency, governed by Emergency Powers Regulations 2021 which states that there be no gathering of persons in excess of ten. As such, no requests for permission for any form of protests were approved,” the TTPS release stated.
The Police Service says it did receive requests from the protest organisers, “the latest dated October 22nd being received on October 25th, but at this time no approvals were given.”
It added: “The Police Service, while it empathises with citizens in their plights at this time, is mandated to enforce the law and is bound in persuading citizens to adhere to same, until such approvals can be given.”
In the release, the Police Service quotes Section 107 of Summary Offences Act Chap 11:02, which defines a public march as “any march or procession in a public place comprising (whether wholly or partly) pedestrians, vehicles (however propelled or drawn), or bicycles (however propelled)”.
It notes that in accordance to Section 112 of the Summary Offences Act Chap 11:02, “no person may organise, lead or take part in any public march unless a permit has been issue in respect thereof by the Commissioner of Police,” or in this case, the most senior officer of the TTPS.”
The TTPS also points to Section 3 of the Accessories and Abettors Act Chap 10:02, which states:
“(1) Any person who aids, abets, counsels, or procures the commission of any offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to the same punishment as the principal offender, and may be proceeded against either with the principal offender or before or after his conviction, and either in the district in which the principal offender may be convicted or that in which the offence of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring may have been committed.”