Trinidad Top Cop can’t close the banks, says PM

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Trinidad Top Cop can’t close the banks, says PM
Gary Griffith
Gary Griffith

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Police Commissioner Gary Griffith’s threat to close banks, supermarkets and markets cannot be enforced.

This was the response yesterday of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley when told that Griffith has issued a statement a short time before that his officers would be moving to shut down banks, markets and supermarkets because people continued to congregate and were not following social distancing guidelines.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday morning to update the country on the COVID-19 pandemic, Rowley said it appeared that the Ministry of National Security and the Commissioner of Police were having a problem synchronizing their texts and he was hoping “this difficult can be smoothed out”.

“Our banks are not be closed by the Commissioner of Police” said Rowley who said Government had detailed how the banks should function as an essential service.

“Therefore I don’t know that arrangement of having them closed at the behest of the commissioner of police is what we can expect” said Rowley.

Regarding how the Judiciary would be operating going forward, Rowley said the Attorney General was in touch with the Judiciary.

He said “work is progressing at pace at this time with view to determine what we can do to intervene with prisons, to have persons who are there on the basis of not having been able to make bail or not violent in any nature, from that stand point, to see whether we can improve the conditions at the prison by reducing the population and preventing the possibility of overcrowding, because that is a very vulnerable area.”

He said: “We are hoping by end of the day, I am anticipating that the AG and the Judiciary could tell the population what we can do with respect to prisoners in the Remand Yard, for prisoners who have been convicted and on appeal. The population would understand that if there are things we can do there, I am hoping that with the broadest sense of, I don’t want to say generosity, but sense of understanding, get those people out of there and I trust that it will minimize the exposure (to the virus) there”.

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