Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith was forced to shut down the music trucks from two major political parties in Carenage area. It was only on July 14 that Griffith, in a news release from the T&T Police Service (TTPS), made it quite clear that political parties contesting the August 10 general election must submit written applications for approval of motorcades during the campaign period.
He said the application must include the proposed date of the motorcade and other relevant information such as the duration, the intended route, and how many people and vehicles are expected to participate in the procession.
Griffith also said that music trucks must get the required permission from the police and the Licensing Authority.
The CoP said it was rather unfortunate that a United National Congress candidate became very aggressive, confrontational and hostile towards the police in Carenage, saying she had a receipt for such permission. Marsha Walker, who is representing the party in Diego Martin West, was stopped after the group was reportedly informed they had not been given permission for the music truck that was accompanying the procession.
In a three-minute plus video posted to social media around 4 pm, Walker was seen arguing with Griffith that they had paid their money and had a right to continue campaigning.
Griffith said after the music truck of this party was shut down, he was forced to shut down another truck, this time from the People’s National Movement, in the same vicinity.
He is again advising all candidates that they must have some degree of responsibility for their trucks and motorcades. Griffith said the motorcades caused traffic congestion for hours.
Griffith also explained to the public that while walkabouts or political meetings did not need the permission of the police, these activities must still be brought to the attention of the TTPS so that the required security could be put in place to ensure that all these events were incident-free.
He said he was also reminding political parties of the need to practice social distancing during these activities.