The T&T Promoters Association (TTPA) claims the T&T Police Service is making it difficult for them to keep ticket prices down for Carnival events.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, TTPA president Jerome “Rome” Precilla said there has been a 15 to 50 per cent drop in attendance at fetes this Carnival season, so they are calling on the TTPS to “get their act together.”
“They have not had control over the crime rate and they want to send extra police officers because it’s deemed a hotspot. We fully welcome that, but not at our cost,” Precilla said.
“We all have police officers, bills ranging from $18k, $38k, over $100k, we have had to pay as promoters for some events for police to attend.”
He said the TTPA is aware of the importance of having police officers present at events but the process has no structure.
“It’s not only the police, it’s both the police and the court that we have issues with. Sometimes we get court dates for your event on the day of your event. You are going out there to get your police strength, they hit you with a police bill. You have to find this money, pay the police, come back to court to get it. You have no time to dispute this because your event is probably the same night,” he said.
Precilla said promoters met with the TTPS on the issue but nothing has been resolved. The TTPA also claimed they are unsure of the roles and responsibilities of police officers when they attend events in their numbers armed and making fetes feel like a “war zone.”
“It gives that sense of security but we are not allowed to direct these police officers as to where you would like them assigned. We are not given that privilege.
“We have no jurisdiction over where they go, where are they positioned, what they do throughout the night. They rule themselves. We paying for this, but they rule themselves. What their exact role and function is again? We don’t know,” he said.
TTPS corporate communications officer Joanne Archie confirmed that there had been meetings with the TTPA but said she was unaware of the claims they made yesterday. She declined to make any further comment on the matter.