Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said yesterday that the T&T Police Service has noted online comments about the decision to implement roadblocks in the lead up to the start of the daily curfews, but maintains they will continue.
The country heads into a holiday weekend with two 19-hour curfews back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. Tonight, the curfew begins at 7 pm.
In a statement yesterday, Griffith said he noted the comments of “social media-trained law enforcement experts” questioning the reason for roadblocks.
Griffith said roadblocks, as well as other measures, are being taken to ensure the safety and security of the country.
“Current decisions are being made to ensure that persons stay off the road, unless necessary during this time, in order to minimise movement in keeping with the rationale for the State of Emergency (SoE), which is to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the population. Commissioner Griffith takes this opportunity to remind the public and make citizens aware that the roadblocks are necessary and are not to inconvenience them,” the release stated.
Griffith said intelligence and data have shown that the roadblocks can prevent fatal accidents caused by excessive speeding, prevent the transport of drugs and guns in the hours leading up to the curfew, prevent violent crimes committed just before the curfew starts and curb the number of drunk drivers rushing home to beat the curfew.
“The Commissioner notes that all of these infractions take place during the hours leading up to the curfew, hence the importance of the roadblocks.”
Griffith added that a video shared by what he called an ‘expert’ from Carenage highlighted that the police were doing their job.
The video showed a long line of cars in Carenage, with a voice stating that police were unreasonable to set up a roadblock at 7.30 pm given that the curfew begins at 9 pm.
“What the ‘expert’ from Carenage has shown is that what is perceived as an “inconvenience” may be necessary in some instances to keep the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago safe and secure. We will continue to protect and serve with pride.”