Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Stephen Lashley has condemned two recent incidents of mob violence at two popular fetes, while urging event organizers and promoters to up their security this Crop Over season.
“I would really want to say that I frown on such behaviour and I would really like to appeal to persons that, certainly those who are going to parties, as we get to the climax of Crop Over . . . we want to be able to show, not only to ourselves, but to our young people, that we can have fun, but we can do it with the utmost amount of respect and control,” Lashley said.
The Minister of Culture’s dissatisfaction matched that of Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, who warned on Monday that the violence exhibited at fetes could potentially tarnish the country’s image as a safe tourist destination.
Just over a week ago at Pirate’s Cove, the Waiki fete got out of control as patrons broke down the fencing trying to enter the event. This resulted in authorities being called in to restore order.
Last Sunday, a brawl also started at Carlisle House following the docking of the Jolly Roger party cruise.
With Crop Over, the island’s annual cultural showpiece, now getting into full swing, Lashley called on promoters to take the appropriate measures to tighten security.
“I think it is unfortunate that our parties are now seen to be the scene of disturbances. I think the ready answer to that while attempting to appeal to persons to temper their conduct, it is really for the promoters of parties to be very serious and focus on security, so that when these incidents occur they can be brought quickly under control and also to ensure that persons observe a code of conduct, particularly when they are having activities at various events,” he said, while reminding organizers that with the festival about to pick up steam, now was the ideal time to review their security arrangements and take the necessary precautions.