“Of course persons should not stay home and die,” Williams told Newsday yesterday when questioned on the issue of permits for persons with serious medical emergencies. He advised persons with medical emergencies to apply for permits. However, he noted that officers on duty on the roads will have a discretion over whether or not to charge and will conduct normal checks over persons with emergencies.
At a press briefing at Temple Court, Port-of-Spain, Williams indicated that the aim of the curfew is not to target law-abiding citizens.
“The intention is not to arrest citizens in breach of curfew,” he said. “The general thrust is behind major criminals.” But he warned that the police have the power to arrest persons in violation of curfew.
On the issue of curfew permits, Williams said that as at midday yesterday, all police stations would have been given adequate permits to deal with applications. He apologised to persons who were eligible for permits but who could not get them up to yesterday due to administrative issues. There were reports yesterday that several officers at police stations across the country had told members of the public that they were unaware of permit provisions and had no permits.
Once more, Williams explained that the permits are for “essential services” and not the general public.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan issued a stern warning to members of the public to not bombard police stations with frivolous applications for permits.
“These passes are not for business as usual,” he said at yesterday’s briefing. “People are asking for passes so that they could lime at Aripita Avenue.”
“Do not bombard police stations with requests that are unreasonable and unjustified. Please exercise good judgment,” he said.
“Permits are not to be provided for all of Trinidad and Tobago,” Williams said. He also said that the Police Service will look to manage the distribution of permits to the media.
Ramlogan noted that persons who are going to pick up persons at the airport should travel with photo ID and a travel itinerary. In a statement the Police Service’s Public Affairs Unit issued a statement noting that permits are for essential services.
“Please be advised that the Trinidad and Tobago police will facilitate all essential services in Trinidad and Tobago with a valid curfew permit. This will allow persons access to curfew areas.
The TTPS notes there are two categories for curfew permits.
“They are as follows: 1. Same Day Curfew Permit – This will facilitate movement within the curfew period for one day; 2. Entire Duration Curfew Permit - This provides the holder with access to curfew areas for the entire period of the limited state of emergency.”