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Senior cops hope for ‘safest’ Carnival
The Christmas anti-crime initiative has been extended to Carnival and senior police officials are hopeful that with collaboration between external and internal partners, C2K13 will be the safest on record. Snr Supt Stephen Ramsubhag, silver commander in charge of operations in the Port-of-Spain Division, said there will be a heightened presence of uniformed and plain-clothes officers, as well as support from all law enforcement agencies.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian in an interview sanctioned by the Police Public Affairs Unit, Ramsubhag warned: “There is a zero tolerance policy with respect to enforcement of the law. We will do whatever is necessary to maintain law and order and protect citizens both within the Carnival Village and outside.”
Ramsubhag, decorated officer with 38 years service, has served in seven of T&T’s nine policing divisions. Prior to being posted in the Port-of-Spain Division last August 15, Ramsubhag was divisional commander in the Northern Division from 2010 to 2011. The alternative silver commander is Supt Wayne Boyd, while the Operations Commander is acting Supt Kenny Mc Intyre, assisted by ASP Ajith Persad.
Acknowledging that there will be some inconvenience, Ramsubhag appealed to residents in Port-of-Spain and environs to “Work with law enforcement to ensure the safety, security and enjoyment of all.”
“All entry and exit points into the Carnival Village will be manned by traffic branch personnel and anyone found in breach of the law will be dealt with accordingly,” he said, adding that the area will be cordoned off with police barriers from Vieira Street near the Old St Joseph Road, Laventille, and along the Beetham Highway near the lighthouse.
Barriers will be set up south-west along Wrightson Road on to Edward Street and Independence Square North on to Wrightson Road, down to Sackville Street and then Duke Street, with Colville Street and all others streets leading to Ana Street, north along Serpentine Road and Prada Street to Federation Park then to Warren and De Verteuil Streets up to the Roxy Roundabout.
These will be manned by uniformed officers from midnight on Carnival Sunday to 3 am on Ash Wednesday. “Anyone wishing to access this area must get permission by way of a permit from the police,” said Ramsubhag who advised residents who have not yet obtained permits to contact Assistant Police Commissioner Terry Archibald at 675-4061 or 674-1822.
While he was unwilling to reveal an exact officers that will be on the ground on Carnival days, Ramsubhag said the manpower pool will include personnel from the Port-of-Spain Criminal Investigations Department and Criminal Records Office, Inter Agency Task Force, Guard and Emergency Branch, Mounted and Canine, E 999, Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearms Bureau, Special Branch and the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit.
They will receive assistance from Air Support, Transit Police, City Police, Traffic Wardens, Fire Services, Immigration, Customs, Licensing and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management. Ramsubhag reiterated “Anyone found entering the Carnival village with any weapon, including knives, ice-picks, cutlasses, or guns, will be arrested and charged immediately as we seek to reduce and eliminate crime.”
He urged the public to take advantage of park and ride facilities at UTT in Corinth and Tarouba in South Trinidad, the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva and Eddie Hart Grounds in Tacarigua and said police officers will be posted at these locations to ensure the safety of motorists and vehicles.
Officers will distribute packages to the public with information about temporary relocation of taxi stands, police stations and mobile booths, hospitals, the parade route, muster points and lost and found locations. The latter will be set at up at Queen’s Park Savannah East, South Quay near Broadway, Adam Smith Square near Republic Bank, Victoria Square near the Sacred Heart RC School and at Piccadilly Greens near the Piccadilly Government Primary School.
Emergency muster points will be located at Queen’s Park Savannah West, Fatima College grounds, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Queen’s Park Oval and King George V Park. The emergency route to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital is along Sackville Street to Edward Street then Oxford Street and across to the hospital, as well as from French Street into Maraval Road and to the Savannah circle to the hospital.
All routes will be manned by Traffic Branch officers. Ramsubhag appealed to motorists to avoid drinking and driving: “There will be increased breathalyser exercises taking place, so please designate a driver if you intend to consume alcohol. We will also have more road blocks, search and seizure operations and the wreckers will be out in full force, so please be advised.”
Directly addressing owners/operators of music trucks, the tough-talking Ramsubhag said: “Trucks operating contrary to the permit and those that do not meet the stipulated specification of 14 feet and under will be taken off the road. We will not tolerate anyone flouting the law and we are being supported by the Environment Management Authority and other agencies. “These owners and operators have been informed of the requirements beforehand and there will be strict enforcement of the regulations.”
Parade of the Bands routes
From Ana Street, Woodbrook:
East on Ariapita Avenue, onto Park Street, south along St Vincent Street, east on South Quay, north onto Broadway, east along Independence Square South, then up Charlotte Street, west in to Queen’s Park East to enter the Savannah
Leaving the Savannah:
South along Victoria Avenue, west along Tragarete Road, south to Pole-Carew Street, into Ana Street then to Ariapita Avenue.
To go to Piccadilly Street (The Greens) for judging:
East along Independence Square South, to Piccadilly Street (around the bridge), west to Park Street, north along Charlotte Street, on to Queen’s Park East to enter the Savannah. Steelbands wishing to go to Piccadilly Street for judging will travel along the same route as costumed bands.
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