Carnival 2010 seems to have been a safe one for many mas spectators. Yesterday, some were looking at passing bands, others were having lunch–pelau, fried rice, fried chicken, salad, macaroni pie–on the pavement, while other spectators were resting in the shade from the day's heat. Robert Lall, from London, England, who was sitting on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain, with four other Englishmen, drinking cold beers, described his 12th Carnival season in Trinidad as safe. "I remember when I first came to Trinidad during the 1990s, there was talk of kidnappings and that type of thing. Now things seems to be much quieter. This year there's much more of the police and army. Everything seems much safer," Lall said. He went so far as to say that this Carnival was so safe, he would encourage his other British friends to return next year. "Next year, I'll be certainly be inviting my friends back to T&T for another Carnival. They're enjoying it. It was safe," he said.
Anthony Francis, a Trini who has been living in London for the past ten years, described his experience this Carnival as a "scary one." His previous Carnival was in 2007. "Carnival is a nice time to return to T&T, but this year the experience was not nice," he said. "On Carnival Monday night, outside Smokey and Bunty, St James, there were gunshots and people started to run in all directions. Police acted promptly and they were quickly on the scene." Describing it as just one incident, he said the rest of his Carnival experience in T&T this year was fantastic. "The steelbands were great, the music was great. Everything else was fine," he said.
Dolsie Gurdass from Cunupia, who was having lunch on the Promenade, said things were much quieter than last Carnival. "So far, I haven't seen any incidents of violence," she said. "I guess with the security cameras and everything else, it impacted on the security. Also, there is a lot of police out this year. They can't be everywhere, but it seems to working." Bissoonath Rampersad from Gasparillo has been coming to Port-of-Spain to look at mas for the past 30 years. He boasted that this Carnival was one of the safest he has seen for the past many years.
"Because of the police presence, this has to be one of the safest Carnivals I've seen," he said. "Port-of-Spain during Carnival is much safer than San Fernando, Chaguanas or anywhere else. "Monday night on the news, police were searching people in City Gate. Maybe that scared people away on Carnival Tuesday. Things really quiet this year." Sham Ramnath, from Beetham Estate, said he believed the crime level was not much different from last year. "Carnival going good this year, but there is still a certain level of crime," he said. "Police not really studying the people. Every year people losing their children to crime. Carnival may be nice, but it not nice to everyone."