Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has ordered an investigation into the conduct of police officers attached to the Central Division, after uniformed lawmen were spotted in attendance at a Central T10 cricket match in Charlieville that breached the Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV) Regulations.
Although team sport is still allowed, the regulations forbid the gathering of more than 10 patrons at any event. The cricket competition, according to a Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) release, had ‘more than 1,000 spectators’ and ‘caused a traffic nightmare along Pierre Road, Charlieville’.
A TTPS representative cricket team was participating in the semifinal of the T10 competition and supposedly en route to advancing to the final when the event was shut down on Griffith’s orders. The commissioner of police now wants a report on the behaviour of the lawmen present.
“The CoP noted that it was only when he gave instructions for the match to be shut down, that the police officers on the scene made any attempt to disperse the crowd which had assembled,” stated a TTPS release. “He noted that disciplinary action can follow if the investigation shows that police officers did not carry out their duties.”
The public health regulations states:
“During the period specified in Regulation 16, a person shall not, without reasonable justification– (a) be found at any public place where the number of persons gathered at any time exceeds ten; (b) participate in any sport or team sports which involves the congregation of more than ten persons; or (c) be found at or in any beach, river, stream, pond, spring or similar body of water in congregations of more than ten persons.”
Incidentally, eight police officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the TTPS confirmed that a Besson Street police officer had just become the last addition to the list.
Trinidad and Tobago has had 52 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the last week alone while the current wave of local infections stands at 73 in 19 days. In contrast, there were 50 confirmed cases in 31 days during the first wave of the virus, which ran from 27 March to 26 April.
Tonight, the TTPS were on the right side of the law again as officers shut down outings at the Universal Bar in St James and Krystal’s Bar on Sorzano Street, Arima, which contravened the public health regulations. Two more unidentified bars were shut down in Port of Spain.
In each case, no arrests were made.
The Ministry of Health reminds members of the public to:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public;
- Keep your distance from others (six feet);
- Stay home if you are ill;
- Clean then sanitise surfaces, such as tabletops, door knobs and cell phones;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser;
- Cough into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow;
- Avoid touching your face.
Persons are urged to call Covid-19 hotline numbers: 877-WELL, 87-SWRHA or 877-3742 (Trinidad) and 800-HEAL (Tobago) if they feel unwell; or they can report a possible breach of Covid-19 regulations by calling 555, or sending messages—inclusive of photographs and videos—to the Police App or via Whats App to 482-GARY.