Griffith knocks 'ridiculous' curfew pass requests

Gary Griffith at a police media briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Monday. - Photo by Sureash Cholai
Gary Griffith at a police media briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Monday. - Photo by Sureash Cholai

Asking for a curfew pass on the grounds that you don't like what you're having for dinner is not a reasonable request as Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is calling on the public not to abuse the police curfew hotline numbers.

Speaking at the police weekly media briefing on Sackville Street, Port of Spain, on Monday, Griffith noted he received over 400,000 requests for curfew passes having approved less than 15,000 thus far.

He noted that emergency hotline numbers should be used only in emergency situations for curfew pass requests and asked the public to be mature and considerate with these requests.

Reading aloud from a list of the reasons people asked for curfew passes, Griffith said the explanations ranged from going to someone's house to borrow a gas tank to wanting to "get a break" from their wife.

"Really and truly the emergency hotline number is not one for the most ridiculous of reasons.

"It's for an emergency and again I would ask the public to understand that the police are not robots we fully understand what an emergency is.

"I do not expect if it is you have a loved one and an emergency pops up and you have to get your loved one to a medical facility you move immediately and you get the call through but please do not tell me you're trying to call and you're not getting through so you're going to leave your loved one there to suffer."

Responding to complaints that some callers were not able to connect with an officer after using one of the numbers, Griffith said there were multiple hotline numbers and advised them to use more than one of they were unsuccessful on the first attempt.

The numbers available for use include 480-2000, 612-3876, 684-5730, 684-5076 or 684-5233.

For his part, Insp Ashraf Ali of the Operations Command Unit said one-night curfew passes were available but again implored citizens to only make requests in emergency situations.

"We are also issuing temporary curfew passes – which is a one-night pass – only for certain emergencies.

"Last night (Sunday) alone between the hours of 9 pm to 5 am we issued 31 additional temporary curfew passes for people.

"These passes range from people wanting permission to pick up and drop off people at various hospitals and we know the hospital system runs on different shifts so people will in fact be needed to pick up family members during the curfew."

He said the public could send their requests via WhatsApp message to the numbers 684-5730, 684-5035, 684-5076 and 684-5233.

These requests would be assessed and a temporary permit would be sent to the person making the request

Ali reported that 576 people have been arrested for breaking the curfew since the beginning of the state of emergency.


"Griffith knocks ‘ridiculous’ curfew pass requests"

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