Commissioner of Police (CoP), Gary Griffith, says J’ouvert celebrations this year were incident free, and saw an increase in participants, with a concomitant increased police presence to ensure their safety and security.
The top cop commended citizens for their exemplary behaviour and their observance to the rule of law during J’ouvert celebrations this morning.
Police Commissioner Griffith and his men keep a watchful eye on revellers at the beginning of J'ouvert celebrations on Carnival Monday
The CoP says that at 11 am, J’ouvert celebrations were incident-free. Several persons were arrested for minor offences, and from all reports received, there were no life-threatening injuries related to J’ouvert.
He says there was a security lock-down as thousands headed into Port-of-Spain for J’ouvert. He says the successful security operation during J’ouvert augurs well for the rest of today and tomorrow.
Police Commissioner Griffith meets Port of Spain Mayor, Joel Martinez, during J'ouvert celebrations on Carnival Monday
Police officers conducted road checks at Cocorite, Curepe, San Juan, Morvant Junction, Tunapuna, Lady Young Road, the Beetham Highway, Priority Bus' Route and Eastern Main Road, Laventille. Other road checks were conducted across the country.
The CoP says these checks were conducted to ensure that the citizens and the visitors enjoy a safe Carnival 2020.
Police Commissioner Griffith and his team on a security sweep during J'ouvert celebrations in the capital city, on Carnival Monday
According to the CoP, there was a virtual absence of persons seen or carrying glass bottles during J’ouvert celebrations.
The Carnival (Prohibition of Glass Bottles) Regulations 2020 took effect at 4 am today and will end at midnight on Tuesday. The CoP wishes to thank the suppliers and distributors of beer and other types of alcohol for their cooperation in having these drinks distributed and sold in tins and plastic bottles.
Commissioner Griffith says the country appears to have accepted that the banning of glass bottles was necessary as it would reduce injuries and possible death.
Police Commissioner Griffith leads a team of police officers during a security sweep, as J'ouvert celebrations were underway in the capital, on Carnival Monday
Commissioner Griffith says that based on figures, attendance at J’ouvert celebrations surpassed 2019. The CoP says that citizens felt safer and more secure by coming out in 2020.
The attendance figures for J’ouvert celebrations are as follows:
* Point Fortin - 1,200
* Sangre Grande - 4,000
* Port-of-Spain and Environs- 70,000
* Tunapuna - 15,000
* San Juan - 1,900
* Chaguanas and Environs - 9,000
* Cedros - 10,000
* San Fernando - 7,000
* Tobago - 8,000
* Siparia – 500
* Biche - 200
Commissioner Griffith also confirmed that police officers will be posted at every corner in areas where Carnival activities are happening. He says the police will get operational support from the Defence Force.
He notes that the police will be operating its drones during the Carnival and there will be a Command Centre and other Centres in operation where real time information can be accessed.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith liases with senior officers during J'ouvert celebrations this morning
Commissioner Griffith also commended police officers for their commitment to duty by turning out in large numbers for J’ouvert. He says for the second consecutive year, police officers responded for duty across the nine Divisions.
He says the few who did not turn out for duty today, must report to the Office of Commissioner at 9 am on Thursday, 27th February, 2020, to explain their absence from Carnival duties.