Anna-Lisa Paul, Ralph Banwarie, Sascha Wilson
The safety and security operations put in place for the Mother of all Carnivals have been successful in preserving law and order during yesterday’s J’Ouvert celebrations which marked the official start of the Carnival 2023 street parade.
Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher stated in a release yesterday that J’Ouvert celebrations across all ten policing divisions had been “safe and secure.”
Officials reported that the CoP was extremely pleased with the combined efforts of all divisions in ensuring that there were no major incidents or serious crimes reported and that revellers and spectators were kept safe during the morning’s activities.
She said, “Meticulous planning and preparations, training and ramped up anti-crime and road traffic exercises such as Operation Grand Slam and SOCA, in the lead up to Carnival 2023, have delivered expected results.”
Buoyed by zero reported incidents across the divisions, Harewood-Christopher assured officers would continue their heightened presence and anti-crime operations across the T&T over the next two days to ensure the entire Carnival period remains safe.
A masquerader dances around a police officer on Ariapita Avenue on Carnival Monday.
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
While Harewood-Christopher did not conduct the traditional walkabout and briefing with reporters in Port-of-Spain as done by previous commissioners, she did join officers from the Port-of-Spain and Northern Divisions during the J’Ouvert celebrations in the field.
The T&T Police Service (TTPS) last Thursday announced that 800-plus officers including 300 soldiers would be deployed during the Carnival period.
Meanwhile, reports out of the Eastern Division also indicated the celebrations were “quiet”.
As part of the security arrangements for the two days, stop-and-search exercises were carried out at Eastern Main Road, Sangre Grande in the vicinity of Royal Castle; Foster Road, Ojoe Road and Eastern Main Road in the vicinity of Republic Bank.
While nothing illegal was found, officers seized glass bottles from revellers, while glass mugs were found in some vehicles.
It was a similar scene along Broadway in Port-of-Spain where officers conducted roadblocks and vehicular searches which led to beer bottles being seized from some people.
Commander of the Eastern Division Senior Supt Khan praised his officers for the initiative as he believed it had, “Accounted for an incident-free Carnival not only in Sangre Grande but the entire Eastern Division.”
He commended Supt Doodhai; Asp Fitzworm; Insps Ramlakhan, Ramkaran, Ramkissoon, Harper; and Sgts Leon, De la Rosa, Narine and Hazel who manned the various police stations in the Eastern Division for their dedication to duty and ensuring J’Ouvert was 2023 incident free.
There were incident-free J’Ouvert celebrations in San Fernando, Barrackpore, Princes Town and Moruga. Snr Supt Richard Smith commended revellers and spectators alike for obeying the law.
He attributed the success to the measures they had put in place.
Smith revealed that they had met with all stakeholders including DJs and had requested them to encourage and urge revellers to behave themselves.