Up to noon yesterday, National Security Minister Stuart Young described Carnival 2020 among masqueraders, onlookers and patrons as safe and secure.
Young was caught patrolling the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, minutes before Monday’s Parade of the Bands got underway.
In a brief interview with the media, Young said reports from J’Ouvert celebrations up to 1 pm yesterday “have come back good reports so far. I hope that we keep it up.”
The security forces, Young said had been out before 4 am.
“I have done (patrolled) Ariapita Avenue, Adam Smith Square, South Quay, Victoria Square and Queen’s Park Savannah which had police in positions.”
Young said the T&T Defence Force was expected to join the T&T Police Service later in the day to ensure law and order.
“Most importantly I hope the people who are enjoying Carnival act responsibly and continue to work with law enforcement as we try to keep it safe and secure.”
Quizzed about a number of videos that have been circulated on social media involving fights among civilians before the Carnival celebrations, Young said “I haven’t received any reports in and around the Carnival celebrations. Of course, there is still too much sporadic crime across the country. So we have had a couple of robberies across the country but nothing related to Carnival so far.”
He said Carnival was a dynamic situation and things remain fluid.
“As the day progresses and people add alcohol and stuff like that…we continue to monitor and the Police Service and Defence Force will do their jobs.”
Young said the consensus from masqueraders and patrons having interacted with them was that “they have been having a good time.”
As for the bottle ban this Carnival, Young said he has seen people drinking from cans.
“I haven’t seen the bottles in the roads which is a great success so far. But again, it is still early. We are only at noon on Monday.”
Young was unable to say how many officers had been deployed on the streets for the festivities.
“I know there has been a fairly good response by the officers and I want to thank them.”
Questioned about his choice for Road March, Young opted not to say.
“I not getting in that. I remain unbiased.”
Young will be back on the streets today at 9.30 am, with divisional heads.