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Outrage at traffic gridlock in Trinidad; suspected protest action by police

Outrage at traffic gridlock in Trinidad; suspected protest action by police

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Commuters across Trinidad and Tobago were left furious yesterday morning, when traffic was brought to a standstill by roadblocks – suspected to have been protest action on the part of the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

However, the Police Social and Welfare Association denied these claims, pointing out that its purpose was for random checking of vehicles to make sure their occupants and owners were complying with laws and regulations.{{more}}

Michael Sealy, secretary of the association, insisted that the roadblocks were scheduled as part of a “total day of policing,” and not an act of protest.

Resulting from the roadblocks, there was gridlock along the major highways, and along roads that filtered onto said highways. On the sister island of Tobago, it was reported that journeys that should have taken five minutes were taking up to two hours to complete.

Those who were able to, returned to their homes, and according to several Trinidadian news outlets, pupils could be seen walking in groups to school – some ending up missing their end of term examinations.

The traffic gridlock also disrupted the schedule of Caribbean Airlines, who released a statement indicating that it was experiencing delays on many of its domestic and international flights. The airline also announced that it would be waiving the date change penalties for affected passengers.

Later in the day yesterday, the executive of the TTPS held a press conference, where it distanced itself from that morning’s roadblocks.

Acting Police Commissioner Ann Marie Alleyne-Daly apologized for the move, and any subsequent inconvenience it had caused the public. She further said that if the executive had known what had been planned, it would have “put measures in place” to prevent the disruption.

At present, the TTPS is negotiating for better terms and work conditions than are being offered by the State.

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