Trinidad Approves Use of Pepper Spray Amid Concerns About Women’s Safety

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi

The National Security Council (NSC) in Trinidad has approved the use of pepper spray as a “device for safety”, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi announced last week.

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), Al-Rawi said he had “drafted the law already”.

“Because of the direction of the Prime Minister, after the Minister of National Security did the prudent thing to bring policy approved by experts as to what should be done….

“It [pepper spray] is a double-edged sword because in the wrong hands it can be used against you, but we deserve a fighting chance,” he said.

The announcement came just days after Independent Senator Paul Richards filed a motion calling for the legalization of pepper spray.

“If it saves one life, it is worth it. If it gives women hope that the authorities…are hearing their cries on a daily basis, on a weekly basis, it is worth it. There are some who comment that it can get into the hands of criminals. Well, guess what? Criminals already have guns and knives; they are raping and abusing women daily with impunity,” Richards said at the time.

Last week, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also urged Government to take steps to legislate the use of pepper spray and tasers by women to protect themselves.

Calls for the green light to be given to using pepper spray intensified after the kidnapping and murder of court clerk Andrea Bharatt, who was laid to rest on Friday.



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