The senior police officer overseeing security for Crop Over has given an assurance of a safe and secure festival, even as detectives investigate a chilling gang video touting gunplay amid an unprecedented wave of murders.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Administration) and coordinator of the festival security, Sylvester Louis told Barbados TODAY this evening that the police have “pretty much settled on all security issues” after “several discussions” with the National Cultural Foundation and band leaders.
He suggested that Barbados Defence Force soldiers, usually seen in joint patrols with Royal Barbados Police Force officers, will again play a role in the security arrangements as he gave an assurance that Barbadians and visitors need not fear and could go out and enjoy the various activities.
Louis declared: “You can give them my word on this one. Again, we are actually working with the soldiers. The soldiers were actually in here today.
“We had discussions on the same matter. And both of us recognize the climate that we are in…and all the senior citizens and visitors alike, we will definitely be in a position to secure them and make sure they have an enjoyable festival.”
Louis said all that was left to do now was to “tighten up on a few spots” and this would be done in the next few days.
This Crop Over Festival comes in the midst of another spate of deadly gun violence that has pushed the murder toll to 30, 19 of which are gun-related.
It also coincides with police investigations into a video circulating on social media showing young men threatening to kill families if they did not get who they were after.
A man dressed in a blue t-shirt with the initials UMG and “Uptown Money Gang” inscribed underneath, looks into the camera and declares: “We playing fuh keeps…. We coming at your mother house and if you frighten and wunnuh running from we, we killing wunna family. And when it is funeral time, we coming and shoot up the church and t’ing. You understand. That is how we moving.”
Gang members intend also to attack school graduation ceremonies, another young man chimed in saying, as primary schools have already begun to hold their annual school-leaving ceremonies. [email protected]