At one point, Norman Christie, bpTT’s Regional President, couldn’t get more than a sentence out about “our band” before the audience exploded into lusty applause and catcalls of appreciation.
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TTPS: Carnival 2016 was ‘safe’
Despite the murder of Japanese pannist and masquerader Asami Nagakiya and reports of several beatings including that of a policeman beating a patron on the head with a gun butt, the T&T Police Service (TTPS) is insisting that this year's Carnival was safe and successful.
At Thursday’s press briefing held at Police Administration building in Port-of-Spain, acting DCP - Administration, Harold Phillip, Gold Commander for Carnival 2016, said there "were no reported serious disruptions at any Carnival-related events."
He said the TTPS also expressed condolences to Nagakiya's family as well as the local and international Japanese community.
During Carnival Monday and Tuesday some 6,000 police officers were out on the road.
Asked why there was no police presence at the time of Nagakiya's death, Phillip said: "Our police officers were deployed around the Savannah (Port-of-Spain). We were not aware of that incident until the body was discovered."
Nagakiya was found dead at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Ash Wednesday.
In thanking stakeholders for providing "critical infrastructure" during the two-day celebrations, Phillip added: "And special praise to the public of Trinidad and Tobago for their responsible behaviour for ensuring their safety during the Carnival season."
He said the Carnival operations plan including that of security and traffic management were executed extremely well during the pre-Carnival and the present post-Carnival phase.
Also, during Carnival, PNM councillor Jason Alexander was beaten by Yuma's security.
Phillip said that matter was still under investigation.
The body of a man was found along Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, on Carnival Monday.
Regarding the alleged beating by the lawman, Phillip said the service would "do all" within its power to ensure the matter is investigated in a speedy manner.
Reduction in crime
Compared to last year's Carnival, Phillip said, this year’s event showed a reduction in serious offences by some 46 per cent.
During the Carnival period a total of 140 persons were arrested across the country for a range of offences. Seven firearms and ammunition were also seized.
Asked how many people were made to take the breathalyser test, acting DCP Deodat Dulalchan, who also spoke, said "several hundred motorists."
He added that 13 were arrested and charged for failing the test and 449 vehicles were wrecked in and around the Port-of-Spain area.