Minister meets with CoP on protecting elderly, street dwellers

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Police Commissioner Gary Griffith speaks with Minister of Social Development and Family Services after a joint stakeholder meeting at the ministry’s St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, office on Wednesday.

PHOTO COURTESY MINISTRY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT – Ministry of Social Development

The issues of elder abuse and the prevalence of street dwellers in downtown Port of Spain assumed full focus when Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox met with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on Wednesday.

A media release from the Ministry of Social Development reported that Cox met with Griffith at the ministry on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.

In the release, Cox said the ministry continued to take reports of elder abuse seriously and reaffirmed its commitment to protecting vulnerable people.

“There is no excuse for the abuse of older persons, particularly at homes for older persons; and the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services stands ready to defend and protect the lives of older persons in Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.

On the issue of homelessness and the covid19 pandemic, Cox also said the police were a critical stakeholder in the government’s efforts to reduce street dwelling and moving people to transitional spaces.

She said similar meetings would be held with the business community and municipal corporations over the next few weeks and a first responder system would be implemented to provide support for families in communities.

Griffith said he was committed to supporting the efforts of the ministry by protecting vulnerable groups in society.

The ministry and the police reportedly agreed to work more closely to raise public awareness.

On Tuesday, Cox met with Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein, with whom she also discussed street dwelling as well as disaster management, flood relief and community networking.

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