Port of Spain mayor Joel Martinez is warning revellers who feel it is their right to urinate on walls and deface properties, especially in the Woodbrook area, that the bands they are playing in will face hefty fines for such actions. He said this fee will be introduced next year if the problem occurs during this year’s Carnival celebration.
Martinez said he has opted first to ask the National Carnival Commission (NCC) to ask band leaders to speak to their masqueraders about urinating on walls, defacing properties, parking in front of driveways as well as other incidents which cause distress to residents during Carnival.
He said if this fails and the problem persists, he will have no choice but to impose a fine or fee on the band to which the perpetrator or perpetrators are members. Martinez said he has seen for himself walls defaced during Carnival and believes residents in Woodbrook and surrounding areas are justified in protecting their properties.
He said, “If walls gets defaced, that property owner will know which band did the deed. They will have to call their councillor, the city corporation or the police and we will do the rest.
You can tell people in a band repeatedly, ‘do not deface and those are the rules to parade on the street.
We do not have the freedom to deface people’s properties, we have freedom to enjoy ourselves and not be malicious’.”
Over the years, the mayor said, “we have understood that people’s properties were defaced and there were a number of other complaints, and after the meeting we had with Woodbrook residents recently, we are working to ensure some civility comes out of this and a solution to the problem is found.
“We are trying to ensure that Port of Spain remains safe, and that people enjoy the Carnival.” He said he had met with Colin Lucas, NCC chairman a couple of weeks ago, and Lucas was agreeable to what he proposed.
Yesterday, Woodbrook residents welcomed the pending decision to impose a fee or fine on bands but added that every year during the two days of Carnival they have to put their own measures in place to protect their walls by covering them with tarpaulins.