The Royal Barbados Police Force has put potential intruders of Grand Kadooment and Foreday Mornin’ bands on notice.
Acting Assistant Commissioner, Erwin Boyce, told a joint news conference with the National Cultural Foundation at police headquarters, Roebuck Street this morning, that law enforcement personnel would adopt a zero tolerance approach.
Anyone who encroaches on a band, unlike in previous years, will be arrested and prosecuted. Boyce warned that persons found guilty ones by a court could face heavy fines or jail time, or both.
He made it clear that while the police force recognised the need for fun and enjoyment during the street revelry, the laws of the country would not be put on hold. The senior officer said too, that even though the police would be out in full force to maintain law and order, they expect that band leaders would “accept their responsibilites to demonstrate that they are in charge of their bands, to have the appropriate security apparatus set up”.
Boyce acknowledged the challenges which the demand for police services at the upcoming series of Crop-Over events and Caribbean Premiere League cricket would have on the force’s manpower.
But he assured the public that the constabulary, which was working hand-in-hand with the Barbados Defence Force and other security agencies, was up to the task. He said specific officers
were assigned to supervise the activities this weekend, while a mechanism was in place to police the entire island as well.
“Notwithstanding the many events, we have the kind of commitment in the force that we can make it happen and we will make it happen. We will make the events very secure and safe.
“We’ve been working with our partners, the Barbados Defence Force and the other security agencies in order to do a security solutions response for each event and more so for “the extremely big mouth events”, like Kadooment, Foreday Mornin’ and to some extent, Bridgetown Market,” declared the police administrator.
He revealed that illegal parking was one of their biggest challenges. “Although we’ve been doing it for a long time, the level of maturity in some areas seem not to have grown to the level; and people still expect if you are having an event at Kensington Oval, they can park on Fontabelle, … President Kennedy Drive, … Spring Garden. People do not realise that we are at a time in our history, that park-and-ride is the thing,” Boyce argued. “Parking can present the biggest challenge to us. So we have specific directions on where to park, how to park and so,” added the senior police officer.
He cautioned that vehicles parked illegal would be dealt with.
Park-and-ride locations will be at the NCF cark park, Queen’s College and the Wildey Gymnasium. These sites, which will be supervised by security personnel and well-lit, will open from 4:30 p.m. when Transport Board buses are scheduled to be available to ferry persons to the event area.
Boyce told reporters that considering Foreday Mornin’ was an adult event, he did not expect to see children on the streets at that time of the day. The senior lawman asked parents and guardians to take responsibility for their wards.
He also said he expected that tonight’s Pic-o-De-Crop Finals at Kensington Oval would end at midnight so there could be a smooth transition to Foreday Mornin’ and also that the producers of Cohobolopot would adhere to the agreed cut off time to end the show. (EJ)