Police: Security zones set up for Carnival
With Carnival a just over three weeks away, Deputy Police Commissioner Deodat Dulalchan, Gold Commander for the festival, has expressed concern at the country’s “troubling” murder toll. There have already been 35 murders of the year. “The month of January is indeed rather troubling for us.
If there is a time that we need to be much more understanding and much more vigilant the time is now. “There is a need for us to really partner because we all need more hands on deck,” Dulalchan said when he spoke at a National Carnival Commission’s (NCC) security workshop at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. He said speed detection and the breathalyser will play “heavy roles” in ensuring law and order, with police “speed teams” deployed in all nine divisions to target errant motorists.
Other anti-crime operations will include wrecking, security sweeps, joint patrols and aerial surveys. The aim is “not really to charge people but to change the culture,” he said. Dulalchan said during and after Carnival the focus will be on providing an environment of enhanced safety through intelligence-led strategies.
“Our concern is not only Carnival in the city but we are also catering for all those people who go on retreat,” he said. The T&T Police Service can no longer call out staff from far-flung stations to assist as there are celebrations in every community throughout the country, he said. Therefore it is necessary for stakeholders to work together to ensure Carnival plans are executed smoothly.
Dulalchan urged citizens to take responsibility for their own actions and warned that those who failed to do so would face the full brunt of the law. Last year, during stop and search exercises, several people were caught entering the Port-of-Spain with weapons, including knives and daggers. Dulalchan said statistics for 2017 shows 30 crimes were committed over the Carnival period.
Tourist destinations, industrial estates, crime hotspots, businesses, coastal areas and ports, will be the focus of security operations. The Carnival village in the capital will be divided into six zones with an assistant police commissioner in charge of each. Dulalchan urged officers to carry out their duties with professionalism, respect and dignity, especially given the fact that foreigners will be participating in the revelry.
NCC executive chairman Colin Lucas agreed that security must always be on the front burner during Carnival as various incidents around the world showed how “things could go horribly wrong.”
However, he assured that the security team was well prepared to deal with any eventuality.
“If anything goes wrong they will ensure that the response to those things will minimise the backlash and the negative consequences,” he said.