Police Commissioner Gary Griffith holds up a can of pepper spray during a TTPS press briefing. (Image: KERWIN PIERRE)

Commissioner of police Gary Griffith says he never recommended or suggested the use of insecticides or insect repellent as a weapon.
In response to reports in a daily newspaper, the commissioner called these statements extremely misleading.

The following is a press release from the TTPS:

The headlines and stories in several of today’s newspapers are misleading in the extreme and were NEVER said by the Commissioner of Police. We are now, therefore, forced to explain both the chronology of events as well as to precisely show what was said.

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, yesterday held a news conference to address the main issue of missing persons and domestic violence. In the course of this news conference, the Commissioner was asked by a reporter from the Newsday if a woman were to use an illegal item such as a Taser, pepper spray, or penknife, would that person be charged.

The Commissioner answered the reporter, but not before pointing out that many
persons use more than he (the reporter) suggested. The Commissioner shared that they have become creative and sometimes use aerosols including insect repellent and that such a course of action was fuelled by women feeling
threatened and desperate.

AT NO TIME did the Commissioner of Police recommend or suggest that persons should use insecticide or insect repellent as a weapon to protect themselves. Such a suggestion would be tantamount to the Commissioner of Police inviting persons to do serious damage to others as many repellents can blind persons and occasion serious bodily harm.

The TTPS does not intend to attack the free press, however, we are
forced to ensure that the context of what was said, and how it was
said, is clear.