This was revealed yesterday by Public Affairs Director, Sharon Lee Assang during the police media briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.
Reports earlier this week suggested that the local Police Service (TTPS) was considering legalising the use of pepper spray and mace for women, but Lee Assang yesterday said this was definitely out of the question.
Senior police officials said the TTPS did not have legislative powers, and such a recommendation would have to be made to the Minister of National Security, who could lobby Government to make the necessary legislative changes.
Responding to comments that the two items were legal in other countries and questions about whether there were any plans locally to put forward such a recommendation, Lee Assang said, “In other jurisdictions it may be legal, but at this point, the TTPS is not doing that.”
Senior police officials said anyone caught with mace or pepper spray in their possession can be charged under the Customs and Excise Act for having uncustomed goods and having a prohibited item in their possession.
Urging women and other vulnerable persons to “take precautionary measures and not put themselves at risk,” Lee Assang reiterated that heightened personal security and responsibility could help to reduce incidents of rape, and other sexual offences.