Opposition Senator to Govt: Don't blame the police

OPPOSITION Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial has urged Government not to blame the police for the "sinking ship" of covid19 regulations enforcement.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister sent a message to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith that people at parties during covid19 health restrictions must feel the full brunt of the law. His comments came after Griffith came under fire from the public over how police let people off with a warning at a party held at Bayside Towers, Cocorite, a luxury residential complex. At a media conference the Commissioner expressed difficulty in enforcing the public health regulations on private property.

On Sunday, Griffith fired back at the Prime Minister saying he was alluding to having police breach constitutional rights of people by arresting them for acts committed when there was no law enacted to do so.

"I am committed to uphold the law and not break it by arresting persons illegally as proposed."

Lutchmedial in a statement Sunday said the commissioner has now joined the chorus of many voices led by the Opposition telling the Government that it ought to come to the Parliament to make clear and unambiguous laws to give the police the requisite legal authority to enforce measures that would curb the spread of the covid19 pandemic.

"In the face of a High Court judgment urging the Attorney General bring regulations to the Parliament for scrutiny given the incursion on the rights of citizens, the Prime Minister has again deflected and thrown the TTPS under the proverbial bus by suggesting that they are not enforcing the law.

"The Government demands that the police exercise powers they simply do not have and which they have failed to take the necessary steps to give. It is clear that the Honourable Prime Minister is not being properly advised by his Attorney General regarding what the police can and cannot do under the existing regulations implemented by his Minister of Health."

Lutchmedial questioned if Government was waiting for the covid infection rate or mortality rate to hit a certain international benchmark before it brings special majority legislation to the Parliament.

"The Government needs to stop playing politics with the lives of our citizens and take action in the manner and through the mechanisms that have been created by the framers of our Constitution. The Opposition demands that the Government brings legislation that Parliament can debate and approve and stop attempting to 'legislate through press conferences' as the Commissioner has aptly pointed out."

She added: "You cannot give the TTPS a cork to plug one of several holes and then blame them because the ship is still sinking. Give them the necessary tools help keep the ship afloat."


"Opposition Senator to Govt: Don’t blame the police"

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