Police Commissioner Gary Griffith responded to criticism from the public over roadblocks over the past four days.
While he understood the inconvenience they may cause, they were necessary to save lives, he said.
In a police media release on Tuesday, Griffith hit back at critics who accused the police of causing unnecessary traffic congestion, saying it was errant drivers disobeying the stay-at-home orders that were to blame.
He said if people obeyed the regulations and stayed at home, there would be no need for roadblocks, and called on the public to be responsible and limit their outdoor activities.
“Those who are being irresponsible and immature by not adhering to a basic policy, should simply do what is required and stay at home. If that is done, and only those employed in essential services, or going to acquire goods and services go out, then there would be no traffic ‘problems.'”
The issue was people being selfish, he said.
Griffith said while the police would not infringe on people’s rights, he would not allow people to expose themselves or others to the coronavirus through unnecessary travel.
“It is not my responsibility to make popular decisions. It is my responsibility to make decisions to preserve lives whilst not affecting constitutional rights. What some see as a problem, I see as a solution.”
Police increased their roadblocks across TT last Friday. Roadblocks resumed on Monday but police reported a “noticeable decrease” in traffic and attributed it to their increased visibility on the streets.
Some drivers said the traffic congestion on highways and main roads due to the roadblocks was frustrating and the roadblocks were ineffective.