“Ten persons were arrested this afternoon for breaching the Public Health Ordinance Regulations when they were found bathing in the waters off Bayside Towers in Cocorite.
“[…] They were immediately arrested and taken to the Four Roads Police Station where they are being processed.”
The following press statement was issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS):
Ten persons were arrested this afternoon for breaching the Public Health Ordinance Regulations when they were found bathing in the waters off Bayside Towers in Cocorite. Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, said he received information from the public and directed officers to the area.
Ten persons were caught bathing in the sea. They were immediately arrested and taken to the Four Roads Police Station where they are being processed.
They are being charged in accordance with Section 3 (1) (d) of the Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) (No 14) Regulations 2020 which states that during the specified period, a person shall not, without reasonable justification, ‘be found at or in any beach, river, stream, pond, spring, or similar body of water, unless the presence of that person is essential for the carrying out or provision of a service specified’.
The penalty for such an offence is a TT$50,000 fine and six months in prison.
The arrest of this group followed a similar incident on 19 April when 27 persons were detained by police, headed by Commissioner Griffith bathing in the waters off Sea Lots, Port-of-Spain. The CoP spoke to the persons, warned them, and later released everyone without charge.
Commissioner Griffith says that when the Sea Lots incident took place, there were persons who were crying at the way the police handled that incident, and that the children were put to lie on the ground. He pointed out these so-called experts did not like how the matter was handled. He made it quite clear that the role of the Police is to save lives at a time when the invisible Covid-19 virus is still threatening the citizens of this country.
The CoP thanked members of the public for sending him the information of the persons bathing in the water off Bayside Towers.