The Dr Keith Rowley-led administration will press ahead with its domestic tourism agenda despite efforts by some leading industry stakeholders to scupper the initiative.
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Safest Carnival Ever
National Security Minister Gary Griffith said yesterday 2014 was one of the safest Carnivals ever and if the trend continued he would be the happiest minister alive. Griffith spoke with reporters as he toured the downtown Carnival areas yesterday and he was accompanied by Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, Chief of Defence Staff Kenrick Maharaj and other security officers.
He said: “The success speaks for itself. What he have seen here is a first whereby, the forces have worked together there has been proper collaboration, in no small part because of the National Operations Centre and you have seen the success. That is why I continue to ask all law-abiding citizens to continue to work with the law enforcement officials, provide them with that information and the success will follow.”
He said the success did not just have to do with Carnival Monday and Tuesday but rather throughout the entire season. He said every day law enforcement officials put their heads together, there was a plan done based on the threat assessment of the events, all-inclusives and Carnival functions included. “We will continue along that line and it shows that we are in the right direction,” he said.
“Some people have actually complained. Some people were like they were hearing too many sirens and encountered too many road blocks but you can’t win,” he said. Griffith there were plans to increase this. “This has been the safest Carnival in a very long time and if this continues today I would be the happiest minister alive,” he quipped. Meanwhile, at the Socadrome, Williams said there was a lot of cooperation from the public and masqueraders. “We’ve had a fantastic Carnival.”
We’ve had no serious complaints, but J’Ouvert there was a complain about traffic congestion on the highway. But that is expected. It has been great.” He said there was no protest from Woodbrook residents. “In my opinion it has been a success. We have the next few hours to bring closure to it. But the way it has been going it has been excellent. This year we have done more work in making the Carnival better and we have seen the results.
“Far more officers have been deployed this year. Hope that next year we can take it to another level,” he added. Griffith said the new Socadrome venue made it easier for police to get to different locations in a faster time. He promised that the 2015 Carnival will be better. He said there will be an immediate post mortem to look at what needs to be improved. He also voiced concerns about minors drinking alcohol in all-inclusive bands and at the possibility of banning glass bottles.
A glass bottle fight among two groups in Port-of-Spain marred the Monday J’Ouvert celebrations. The incident occurred between French Street and Adam Smith Square on Ariapita Ave. Former mayor Louis Lee Sing had called for the banning of glass bottles in the Carnival celebrations.