THE Police Service and fete promoters are working closely to ensure security at Carnival fetes this season. Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith gave that assurance to members of the National Security Joint Select Committee at a public hearing at Tower D of the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre yesterday.
Noting there were 200 events every Carnival, Griffith said each event would be treated like an operation.
He explained there would be a mobile command unit on site and police would do reconnaissance of the area prior to the event. Griffith said previously there was no proper strategy whereby officers were used to secure fete venues.
On the issue of extra pay for police officers who provide security at fetes, Griffith said an account would be created for promoters.
The officers who are actually on duty at these events will be paid from that account.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Crime Harold Phillip said a provision was made in the law for officers to receive extra pay when they worked at fetes which were not national events. Phillip said some promoters were “not sincere” with the police in estimating the crowds they expected at fetes. He related instances where the police were told an event would have 1,000 people and instead had over 4,000 people.
Acting DCP Operations, Deodat Dulalchan said there was no venue in TT which could properly host the kinds of fetes being held today. Dulalchan spoke about a case where a promoter tried to get the use of the fast ferry to bring patrons to a particular event. He also said some fetes did not even have muster points in the event of an emergency.
Dulalchan also said some promoters did not understand that not everyone liked to fete. He said those promoters did not acknowledge that fact when they held fetes in certain places. Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell said fete promoters had expressed concern having to pay extra duty to police officers to provide security at fetes.