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The National Carnival Commission (NCC) is preparing for a bumper Carnival 2014 season but crime remains a top priority, chairman Allison Demas said yesterday. Speaking to reporters before the launch of the NCC’s Regional Carnival 2014, at the Edinburgh 500 Grounds, Chaguanas, she said: “Crime is a serious concern and can have a negative impact in terms of visitor arrivals.
“But what the statistics will show, especially if you look at 2013 Carnival, is that Carnival seems to have almost a pacifying effect and it can in fact lead to a reduction in crime, certainly for that period. “I think that is one of the social benefits of Carnival.” Demas said the NCC is working with the T&T Police Service to ensure a safe national festival and has set up an operation and infrastructure committee chaired by retired Brigadier General Carl Alfonso and made up of senior members of the TTPS.
The NCC chairman offered some advice for the public, revellers and visitors during the Carnival season. Be extra cautious, don’t wear jewelry, female revelers in particular should be careful about their personal security, especially at night, always stay in groups, don’t go off on your own and avoid secluded areas, Demas advised. Yesterday’s launch included a parade of traditional Carnival characters, such as Moko Jumbies, Fancy Sailors, Indians, Jab Jabs, Damme Lorraines, and Midnight Robbers.
After the official opening, there were live performances by soca artistes and calypsonians including Crazy, Denise Belfon, Karega Mandela and Mr. Famous, and featuring MC Mikey K. NCC has shown its support for Regional Carnival this year with increased subventions for community groups and stipulating that 60 per cent of allocated funds be used for prize monies. Regional Carnival groups from across the country received subventions from NCC at a handing over ceremony on December 31.