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Cops urge ‘Socadrome’ bands — ‘Stick to route’

Friday, February 28 2014

BANDS participating in the “Socadrome” initiative are being urged by police to, “keep their promise” and stick to the new parade route and not cross into regular judging routes. The call was made yesterday by Carnival Police Gold Commander ACP Earl Gonzales, during the weekly police press briefing at Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.

Gonzales said police officers will be in the area of the Socadrome to ensure the safety and security of participating bands who are scheduled to be there from 8 am to 4 pm on Carnival Tuesday. Gonzales said heads of the five mas bands have promised they would stay in the area of Fitzblackman Drive, Damian Street, down to the National Stadium using the Castro (west) gate entrance, going around the stadium through the Jean Pierre Complex, exiting by the gate and going around back to Ariapita Avenue.

“They made their promises that they are going to stay in that area and stick to that route. And they are not going to be involved in the judging positions,” Gonzales said.

He told reporters this was one of the commitments band leaders made and why Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams granted approval for the mas celebration to be conducted at the Jean Pierre Complex instead of the traditional mas parade point at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

“So at the end of the day we (the police) are going to keep our promise. I hope that the bandleaders do keep their promise. So that if come 2015 and the same request is made, based on what happened this year, we will know exactly what we are going to do in the year 2015,” he said.

Asked if Woodbrook residents take legal action against organisers of the five bands going through Woodbrook to the Socadrome, Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee yesterday said, “I would support them. I sympathise with what they have to endure.” President of the Woodbrook Residents Group Lynette Dolly yesterday did not rule out legal action to halt the socadrome mas. “We have consulted with some of our lawyers already, but we are hoping good sense will prevail through the use of advocacy,” Dolly said. Attempts to contact Socadrme spokesperson Danielle Jones Hunte yesterday were unsuccessful. Construction of the Socadrome stage continued yesterday.

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