Police plot course to safe Carnival
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Wednesday, February 19 2014
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Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams....
THE Police Service hierarchy has put together a comprehensive security plan which includes use of all available technology to deal with security coverage for Carnival events and the strategic placing of police resources to maintain law and order during the Reign of the Merry Monarch.
“We will bring to bear all available technology, including CCTV coverage and air surveillance to aid our security arrangements,” Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams told Newsday yesterday.
The security plan, he said, also includes police coverage of other venues such as beaches and camp sites where persons may go to escape from the wine and jam” of Carnival. “We are addressing the needs of communities and the needs of those who are not taking part in Carnival activities,” he said.
All available police officers, including those on vacation leave and who are in the country, will be called out to duty over the extended Carnival weekend beginning on Fantastic Friday and ending at midnight on Carnival Tuesday.
“We will continue to work in partnership with the Defence Force and will collaborate with the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) which is the coordinating unit for events and incidents,” Williams said.
Noting that the NSOC has under its management an air support unit equipped with helicopters, the top cop said the Defence Force will work with the NSOC to ensure aerial surveillance.
Apart from CCTV cameras being installed at major Carnival venues in Port-of-Spain including at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Williams said cameras have been installed at strategic locations in San Fernando and Chaguanas.
“We are utilising these as part of our plan to provide the highest quality of policing for the entire country including visitors, so we can have another safe Carnival.” The National Carnival Commission (NCC) last week announced that 18 CCTV cameras were installed at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Williams yesterday reminded citizens that they too have a responsibility for their personal safety, and must exercise caution as they go about enjoying of Carnival. “Do not display your jewelry. Do not expose your wallets, do not walk with unsecured handbags, do not expose yourself as being a potential target of criminals,” he cautioned.