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Carnival ‘extremely safe’

Thursday, March 6 2014

click on pic to zoom in
BEACH STRETCH: What at first looks like three persons engaging in some beach yoga at Maracas Bay yesterday was in reality a case of the three merely s...
BEACH STRETCH: What at first looks like three persons engaging in some beach yoga at Maracas Bay yesterday was in reality a case of the three merely s...

THIS year’s Carnival was an “extremely safe” one as there were limited incidents that occurred during the festivities, Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said yesterday at the weekly press briefing at Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain.

Williams said there was a drastic reduction of serious crimes as on average there are 35 serious crimes daily but over the Carnival celebrations, there were 15. Deputy Commissioner of Police Earl Gonzales said between 4 am on Monday and 12 midnight on Tuesday, 29 persons were arrested for driving under the influence.

“This was a great reduction to years gone by so it clearly shows that the motoring public adhered to our advice,” he said. He said there were 12 road traffic accidents reported and 251 persons were arrested throughout the country for various offences including possession of narcotics, fighting and use of obscene language. Police also recovered three firearms, one in the St Ann’s district and the others in Woodbrook and in the Northern Division.

When asked why this approach to securing the nation was not taken on a regular basis, Williams said there was a different approach when policing for Carnival.

“At the present moment, our policing effort is built around a change in policing. From what was traditionally the station oriented policing approach, what we are doing now is being proactive where our general thrust is service oriented,” he said.

He said they have added 1,000 Special Reserved Police and it was the Police Service’s intention to recruit 1,000 police officers this year which would assist them in having a higher level of visibility across the country.

Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Kenrick Maharaj said this year, more resources were provided by the TT Defence Force (TTDF) towards joint security operations over Carnival. He added that the Coast Guard is on alert to prevent movement into TT of persons fleeing unrest in neighbouring Venezuela. In monitoring the Mas bands, National Operations Centre (NOC) executive director Garvin Heera said the centre utilised GPS tracking of every Mas band using route marshals and communication teams on the ground. He said they were able to tell where the bands were at any time and predict their movements to limit congestion.

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