Barbadians are likely to experience some level of inconvenience for the remainder of the Crop Over season as the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) ramps up its crime fighting efforts.
Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith said there would be an increase in searches, and some people may come under additional scrutiny as lawmen execute a major plan to ensure the rest of the festival season is crime free.
“Our plans are well advanced for the policing of the remaining major events of the Crop Over calendar. We are assuring the public, locals and visitors alike, that we will provide a seamless safety and security plan that will ensure their safety and security at these events,” Griffith told journalists this morning during a media briefing at police headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City.
He said, “one can expect that there will be some inconvenience in terms of persons might be the subject of close scrutiny, others’ vehicles might have to be stopped during a period of the execution of searches. So one can expect, without giving full details as to the intricacy of the plans, that there will be some inconvenience”.
According to the top cop, the RBPF will be “ably assisted” by the Barbados Defence Force “who will be out in their numbers during this period”.
With just about two weeks to go before the climax of the island’s premier festival, a number of major events are still to be held, including Junior Kadooment on July 28; Soca Royale on July 29; Bridgetown Market and Foreday Mornin’ Jam on August 3; Pic-O-De-Crop final on August 3, and Grand Kadooment on August 6.
“For this, clearly there will be stepped up activities that in some instances can result in some inconvenience to the public, but this is all necessary to ensure their safety. We ask that you cooperate and support our efforts,” Griffith said, while noting that the plan would be driven by risk and assessment, as well as intelligence.
The finale of last year’s Crop Over, Grand Kadooment, came to a bloody end as 20-year-old Tareid Rock of Chapman Lane was shot dead in front of stunned revellers, and another 20 people were treated for gunshot injuries.
There were also several violent incidents at a number of events, including one during a cruise.
Already this year, the increasingly popular Puff of Colour event came to a rowdy end two weekends ago, with reports of gunshots being fired, cars being broken into and the Coral Ridge burial ground vandalized.
There have also been several reports of violence aboard some cruises, and one shooting death, following a late night/early morning cruise two Fridays ago.
While Griffith did not address any specific issues, he explained that for the major events to come there would be an “expanded” police presence in areas that were previously not covered in order to ensure “there are no offshoots of violence that might necessarily impact the event itself”.