partygoer after raiding a zesser party

SORTT officers escort a partygoer after raiding a zesser party at in Kelly Village, Caroni yesterday. Photo ISHMAEL SALANDY.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has opted to lay charges on over 250 people who would have been held at a “zesser” party in Kelly Village, Caroni, on Sunday morning via summons.

That day, hours after the operation, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith told the Express the police would be taking a hard stance against all persons who breached the Public Health Ordinance, especially as it pertained to the gathering of persons in parties throughout the country.

The TTPS issued a release yesterday stating it would be proceeding via summons against all who were detained.

Police said the decision was made out of concern about the number of persons who were detained, several of whom were being held at cells in the Central Division.

An allotted number of these persons were expected to be charged and brought before a Chaguanas magistrate yesterday.

However, it was noted that due to the seriousness of the event, in which there was little to no social distancing, or persons wearing masks, there was a “real concern” of a possibility for the spread of the Covid-19 virus among the detainees.

As a result, a decision has been taken to charge more than 250 persons found at the party in Kelly Village on Sunday morning by way of summons rather than keep them in cells at police stations.

According to Head of the Central Division, Snr Supt Curt Simon: “The Central Division is very responsible when it comes to maintaining law and order and preventing and reducing disorder.

“We are taking affirmative action in proceeding to lay charges to over 250 persons who would have been present at the zesser party this weekend. The Division is taking into consideration the personal safety of all involved, including the police officers.

“While we are aware we could arrest these persons, a decision has been taken to charge all involved by way of summons in this matter. This will ensure that the health of the police and the court community will remain intact and unobscured. This is expected to be an arduous task that will take at least a week to complete.”

Under current regulations of the Public Health Ordinance, groups are prevented from gathering in numbers in excess of ten persons in public.

Failure to do so can see persons face fines of up to $50,000.

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