Police Commissioner Gary Griffith wants consideration given to reasonable shut-off times for future Carnival celebrations.
Griffith made the suggestion at a press conference at the Ministry of National Security in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
“This is one of the few countries in the world where you have Carnival going on from Friday. In other carnivals you have a shut-off point,” Griffith said.
He claimed that some sound systems use the celebrations as an excuse to play loud music for almost the entire long weekend, which disrupts the lives of people residing in communities along the designated parade routes.
Griffith admitted that he was forced to shut down music along Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, well before the scheduled midnight cut-off time on Carnival Tuesday due to security concerns.
“From our intelligence, there were plans for persons to disrupt Carnival and use that cloak of darkness and the fact that tens of thousands of people converged. It did start where they arrived and persons starting to throw bottles and started robbing individuals,” Griffith said.
He claimed he was forced to make a judgment call, which undeniably disappointed revellers, vendors and spectators enjoying their last lap.
“Nothing is more important than that safety and security of law-abiding citizens. By doing that we might have very well ensured that persons may not have been killed or injured,” he said.
Besides security concerns over late finishes, Griffith said it also affected the T&T Police Service’s (TTPS) resources as police officers had to be deployed to monitor unplanned late celebrations. He said he would raise the issue at post-mortem meetings and at the planning stage of next year’s festivities.
Reporter: Derek Achong