Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says he has completed the curfew permit process and has granted only 10,000 curfew passes after reviewing 8,000 applications comprising 360,000 requests.
Speaking to Guardian Media, Griffith said, “I have reviewed all 8,000 letters and each of these combines a total of 360,000 who made requests for curfew permits to be given. We have distributed 10,000 curfew passes and all of the others I have rejected. “
He said issuing passes to 360,000 people would have defeated the purpose of the SOE.
“Every single person in the food industry, farmers, suppliers, supermarket owners, employees, everyone in the financial sector, energy sector, security and hundreds of companies which provide support services to the energy sector requested passes. That was irresponsible and immature. The onus now is on all the employers to collect the passes, distribute them and rotate,” Griffith said.
So how did he manage to review 8,000 applications and 360,000 requests in a few days? Griffith said he and his team worked day and night to complete the process in a few days.
“I reviewed each one, I had to be careful not to disregard one that is critical and at the same time not give out passes that may cause it to be abused by fellow employees of that organization. All had to be reviewed and almost everyone had to get back to the employer to tell them the numbers were unacceptable,” Griffith said.
Those who have qualified for passes are asked to come to the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, to collect the passes.
He said if there are more requests for passes, there would be further discussion.
On Monday night, an EHS driver was stopped in a curfew roadblock at Princes Town as he headed home after hours following a late shift. He told police he had not yet collected a curfew permit.
Police officers from the Southern Division coordinated by ACP Hodge-Griffith, Senior Supt Winchester, Supt Carthy, Supt Jackman, ASP Jaikaran, ASP Ramdass, Insp Ramlogan, WSgt Sherry Martin and Sgt Stoute supervised roadblocks on Monday night.
Between 10 pm and 11:30 pm, more than 25 vehicles were stopped and all of the drivers had legitimate reasons to be on the road.
Motorists were reminded of the COVID-19 protocols and the requirements under the State of Emergency. The officers also volunteered to escort some of the tired medical personnel to their homes.
Along High Street, San Fernando there were regular police patrols as officers kept watch over the shuttered businesses.
Two weeks ago, the president of the Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce Kiran Singh called on police to do patrols in the city to prevent burglaries.
Senior police officers said they have stepped up patrols during the day as well as the nights, particularly on High Street, Mucurapo Street, Lord Street, Cipero Street, Coffee Street and Pointe-a-Pierre Road, where there are scores of businesses.
Apart from the homeless people, there was little activity in the city on Monday night.
Reporter: Radhica Sookraj