Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has no evidence to suggest a party with over 200 attendees took place on one of the islands off Trinidad’s Western Coast.
Rumors were rife recently on social media suggesting that a prominent businessman had hosted an event in breach of the COVID-19 Public Health Regulation. It was also alleged the virus may have been spread among those who attended the event. Several videos have been shared across social media highlighting the alleged event, with users suggesting they were from the party and criticising the police for not taking action. Many social media users also noted that while the police were clamping down on zesser fetes and other parties, they had allowed the event Down the Islands to go on without any action.
However, at a TTPS media briefing yesterday, Griffith said the videos were not enough to take action and he simply could not rely on “rum shop talk.”
“I cannot look at a video that could have been three years ago or it could have been during a period when it was less than 25,” Griffith said.
He added, “Unfortunately, we do not have a Scotty that can beam us up from Trinidad and Tobago to Chaca (Chacachacare) or Gaspar Grande, so we cannot just turn up there immediately.”
However, Griffith assured no one is above the law and the TTPS is prepared to act on any verifiable intelligence.
“If someone is willing to come forward and give evidence and say listen, I was there at that time and this situation took place at a certain period when the regulation would have been less than 10 or 25 and the law would have been broken, then that will be something totally different,” Griffith stated.
Griffith said he was also aware of flyers circulating for events, including one on August 29. He said while the details on these flyers are limited, the police will be working on intelligence.
He also admitted there are people who are putting flyers out “just to be mischievous,” as many of them, when investigated, turn out to be “a wild goose chase.”
Parties are prohibited under the current Public Health Regulation as Government battles COVID-19.
On August 15, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that public gatherings of more than five people will no longer be permitted while weddings, christenings and funerals should have a maximum of 10 people.