Police Public Relations Officer, acting Inspector Roland Cobbler tells Barbados TODAY, they saw high levels of intoxication by revellers and, in another instance, persons from one band had to receive medical attention after being injured along the parade route.
“In that case, the rope which they were using as a form of crowd control to keep the revelers in their area along the parade route; one of these ropes popped and some of the revellers became entangled in that rope.
“As a result, there were six persons injured. Two were treated at the medical tent which was located just off the Spring Garden Highway and two others went off to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where one had a suspected broken leg and another a suspected broken thumb,” he said.
The police spokesman also said that there were minor skirmishes which resulted in some persons having to receive treatment.
“We had a 19-year-old female receiving a minor stab wound to her face and an 18-year-old female is assisting with that investigation. Then there was also a man; he would have received some minor stab wounds about his body. No one is assisting us at the moment as we look into that incident, but we are continuing our investigations, Cobbler explained.
Considered to be one of the crowning events of the annual Crop Over, the Foreday Morning Jam, since its inception, has seen significant growth in the numbers participating. This year there were 43 bands registered to take part in the event which started from Queen’s Park, the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc., car park on lower Bay Street and the BIDC carpark, and wound its way through Bridgetown along Wharf Road, passing Carlisle House onto Hincks Street, along Trevor’s Way, Harbour Road and onto the Spring Garden Highway.
The police spokesman said he was satisfied with the level of cooperation which was exhibited by both members of the various bands and also the public, noting that he was hopeful that this would continue through to the end of the season.
“I want to commend the [Foreday] revellers for their behaviour and this is something that we want to see continue . . . and I want to continue to encourage that level of responsibility which they have soon thus far,” the acting Inspector said, giving warning however, that the no tolerance stance which has been taken over the past week would not be relaxed.
“We will continue to ensure that our strategic plan which has been put in place to ensure a safe environment for the festival is maintained. Of course we’d like to encourage persons to also play their role in ensuring that they themselves take all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe season as it comes to an end.
“. . . though, as I’ve said previous and now, the Force’s no tolerance policy is still in effect and it will be in effect until the end of the season. We are being supported by the members of the Barbados Defence Force, as is customary, and we are encouraging persons to comply with the directions of all officers on duty as there will be a strict enforcement of all laws,” Cobbler reiterated.
Last night’s events started at 11 o’clock sharp with officials at the National Cultural Foundation revealing to Barbados TODAY that this was a new experiment which worked well and saw most, if not all bands being well on their way through Bridgetown by 2:30 a.m., giving nearly all bands the opportunity to reach Spring Garden Highway; a bugbear for many on previous occasions.
Inspector Cobbler noted only one group, the Revellers Band did not make it onto the highway, having been stopped sometime after 6 a.m. along the Harbour Road in the vicinity of the roundabout near the Barbados Port Inc. as the time had passed for the music to end.
Drawing reference again to the high levels of intoxication that the force was seeing throughout the season, the PRO stressed the need for a designated driver.
“Having a designated driver, that is a message that has been put in the public domain for quite some time now. If you are going to drink make sure that you have a designated driver because it can save your life and that of others,” Cobbler stressed.