Trinidad approves pepper spray for use as safety device

Trinidad’s National Security Council (NSC) has approved the use of pepper spray as a “device for safety”.

The announcement was made by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. He was speaking at a meeting of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), where he explained that he had drafted the law already.

“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.