‘Tarouba Stadium for T&T detention centre’

(Trinidad Express) With the large number of people being arrested on a daily basis by law enforcement during the State of Emergency throughout the country, the Government is looking at converting the Tarouba Stadium into a detention centre.

The disclosure was made by National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, who spoke at Saturday’s daily news briefing regarding operations undertaken during the State of Emergency at the Ministry of National Security in Port of Spain.

Sandy said one of the areas considered to house suspects has a capacity to house in excess of 1,000 people.

He maintained that at this time, there is ample space at the nation’s prisons.

Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs, who also spoke at yesterday’s briefing, said 222 people were detained between 8.a.m. on Friday and 8.a.m yesterday.

He said 77 were in connection with gang-related offences; six for homicides; 37 for drugs; 21 breach of curfew; 70 serious offences; and ten outstanding warrants.

To date, he said, a total of 684 people have been held, with 257 on gang-related offences.

He also said there has been a drastic reduction in serious crimes throughout the country.

Ramlogan added that because of the increase in people being held daily, the Tarouba Stadium has been identified as one of the possible sites to temporarily house suspects.

He said, “I just want to announce that I have asked the Minister of Housing to look into the question, look and see whether or not the stadium in Tarouba, can be utilised and from being a one-time tsunami centre to a detention facility for the purpose of this State of Emergency.”

“Jail ain’t make to ripe fig. For those who are intent on visiting the facilities, then rest assured, we are making room and we are happy to receive you and accommodate you until you change your ways,” Ramlogan said.

Sandy and Ramlogan expressed serious concern regarding the increase in incidents where citizens were breaching the curfew law for non-emergency situations.

Ramlogan said he intends to recommend that stiffer penalties be amended to the law which will impose increased fines and penalties for those who choose to disregard the curfew law. The current fine is $684.

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