Police officers conducting a stop and search exercise in Sangre Grande on Friday.

Sangre Grande police have issued the highest number of face mask tickets to people since the COVID-19 health regulations became effective.

Sgts Johnson and Garcia told Guardian Media that with the 10 tickets issued to persons who failed to wear face masks during a traffic exercise conducted on Saturday morning, it had pushed their fixed ticket total to 2,119—the highest across the divisions in T&T.

Officers who conducted the latest exercise said people are still very reluctant to wear face masks. However, they noted that it remains an illogical practice to pay a $1,000 fine for not wearing a mask which can cost as little as $10.

On Saturday during the exercise conducted along the Eastern Main Road, Sangre Grande, which began at 4 am and ended at 8 am, five drivers were also ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The five arrested for DUI included a 47- year-old AC technician of Arima; a 26 -year-old sales clerk of Pinto Road, Arima; a 56-year-old Sangre Grande fabricator and a 56-year-old Sangre Grande labourer. Officers also issued 17 traffic tickets for various offences

One Raven P25 pistol, one magazine and 14 rounds of .25 ammunition were also found in an abandoned house at Walke Street, Sangre Grande, in a separate exercise.

The exercises were co-ordinated by Insp Kistow and supervised by Sgts Johnson and Garcia, Cpls Sankar, Pooran, PC Joseph, Juteram, Murray WPC Moses, Williams and other officers.

Charges were laid by Sgt Garcia, PC Murray and WPC Moses.

Ag Insp Kistow, head of Sangre Grande Traffic Branch, praised his officers for their continued dedication to duties.

Senior officers said the regular DUI exercises have become necessary due to three road fatalities in the Eastern Division over the last few weeks.