Police and soldiers will be out in force at various Crop Over events in the waning days of the festival, as lawmen seek to prevent any major disturbances.
Public Relations Officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler told Barbados TODAY the no tolerance approach that was evident at Soca Royale at Bushy Park, St Philip yesterday would continue through to the end of Kadooment Day on Monday.
“During our discussions with the National Cultural Foundation we expected a large number of persons to be here at Bushy Park [for the 2017 Soca Royale]. In an attempt to ensure that the event was held in a safe environment [with] no major issues being encountered, we have a heavy police and Barbados Defence Force presence,” Cobbler explained as the curtain came down on the event, which attracted an estimated 13,500 patrons.
There had been much speculation about safety and security at public events after a video surfaced on social media last week, with bone-chilling threats against the RBPF.
Those threats were delivered across the screen in writing, as the expletive-filled song, X Gon’ Give It to Ya by American hip hop star DMX blared in the background, with the moniker of the hacking group Anonymous imposed on the screen.
It surfaced 24 hours after residents of Deacons Farm, St Michael got a rude awakening to the sound of unbridled gunfire took in the dead of the night.
At the end of the worrying gunplay late Wednesday, no one was injured but several power lines were affected, throwing sections of the community deeper into darkness.
Cobbler told Barbados TODAY Sunday night the strategy which the Force had employed had worked well and lawmen would be going all out to ensure a safe and quiet climax to Crop Over.
“There have been no real incidents of disorderly conduct being reported and I am truly happy with the way that our strategies unfolded. I am more pleased about the way patrons behaved. Most of them, if not all, were compliant with our remote search areas where patrons and vehicles were being searched before they entered the facility at Bushy Park. They have been cooperating with us in this venture. No incidents were reported during the event,” the police spokesman said, drawing reference to one of the tactics employed yesterday.
There was a noticeable police and military presence with increased patrols both inside and outside the venue.
Cobbler said this was to send a clear message to potential mischief makers that law enforcement officials would not tolerate any form of violence.
“We will continue to maintain that zero tolerance approach for the rest of the season. So far it has worked well for us, and we hope that it will continue. Based on the fact that we expect the numbers to continue to grow as the Crop Over festival comes to its climax, and since we want to ensure the entire season is without incident, we will continue with our heavy security presence at events,” he said.