Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner, Dwayne Gibbs: “I misspoke”

On Day Three of the State of Emergency (August 24), Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs joined the list of top-level officials who have made embarrassing blunders since the declaration of the State of Emergency on Monday 22 August, 2011.

According to the Trinidad Express, Gibbs said in an interview on August 24 that the entire country was under curfew. However, his statement directly contradicted statements made by National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, both of whom had insisted that the curfew was restricted to six crime “hotspots”.

On August 25, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Public Affairs Unit dispatched the following communique, which did not really clear up the curfew confusion:

“Statements attributed to the Commissioner of Police in the media, have created some confusion regarding the State of Emergency and the curfew hours now imposed. Kindly note that the curfew order 2011 proclaimed by the President for the imposition of the State of Emergency, states that the order is for Trinidad and Tobago and not just Trinidad. Areas bound by the curfew order are as follows:

Between 9:00pm and 5:00am in the city of Port of Spain as demarcated in the First Schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act.

Between 9:00pm and 5:00am in the city of San Fernando as demarcated in the First Schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act.

Between 9:00pm and 5:00am in the borough of Arima as demarcated in the First Schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act.

Between 9:00pm and 5:00am in the borough of Chaguanas as demarcated in the First part of the Second Schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act.

Between 9:00pm and 5:00am in the region of Diego Martin as demarcated in the Second Part of the Second Schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act.

Between 9:00pm and 5:00am in the region of San Juan/Laventille as demarcated in the Second Part of the Second Schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act.

The Curfew order 2011, outlines the areas where the curfew has been imposed, the public is asked to adhere to the order, please be guided accordingly.”

Around the same time, the Ministry of National Security published the following statement, which did clear things up but which also exposed the error of the Police Commissioner: ”

The current State of Emergency applies to the National Community. The 9:00p.m. to 5:00a.m. curfew, however, is applied only to those areas identified as “Hot Spots” within the municipal corporation areas including, Port of Spain, San Fernando, Arima, Chaguanas, San Juan / Laventille, and Diego Martin.

The breakdown of these areas is as follows:

The City of Port of Spain:

  • St. James East
  • St. James West
  • Woodbrook
  • Northern Port of Spain
  • Belmont East
  • Belmont North and West
  • Southern Port of Spain
  • East Dry River
  • St. Anns`s River South
  • St. Anns`s River Central
  • St. Anns`s River  North
  • Belmont South

The City of San Fernando:

  • Cocoyea/Tarouba
  • Les Efforts  East / Cipero
  • Les Efforts West/ La Romaine
  • Marabella East
  • Marabella South/Vistabella
  • Marabella West
  • Mon Repos/Navet
  • Pleasantville
  • Spring Vale/Paradise

The Borough of Arima:

  • Calavary
  • Arima North East
  • Arima West
  • Arima Central
  • Malabar
  • Tumpuna
  • O`meara

The Borough of Chaguanas:

  • Charlieville
  • Edinburgh/Longdenville
  • Enterprise North
  • Enterprise south
  • Cunupia
  • Montrose
  • Felicity/Endeavour
  • Munroe Road /Caroni Savannah

The San Juan/ Laventille Regional Corporation:

  • Maracas Bay / Santa Cruz/ La Fillette
  • Febeau/Bourg Mulatresse
  • Morvant/ Upper Malick
  • San Juan West/ Caledonia
  • St.Ann`s/ Cascade/Mon Repos West
  • St. Barb`s Chinapoo
  • Beetham/ Picton
  • Success/Trou Macaque
  • Aranguez/ Warner Village
  • Barataria
  • Petit Bourg/ Champs Fleurs/ Mt.Lambert
  • San Juan East

The Diego Martin Regional Corporation:

  • Chaguaramas/Glencoe
  • Goodwood/ La Puerta
  • Covigne/Richplain
  • Diamond Vale
  • Morne Coco/Alyce Glen
  • Petit Valley/ Cocorite
  • St.Lucien/ Cameron Hill
  • Belle Vue/ Bossiere # 1
  • Moka/ Bossiere # 2″

Later that day, Gibbs publicly acknowledged his error and retracted his earlier statement.

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