More than 100 municipal police officers along with their counterparts from the T&T Police Service (TTPS) officials will be deployed in the capital city for this year’s Carnival celebrations to ensure the safety of masqueraders and spectators. There are also plans to ban the use of glass bottles in the city for the two days of revelry on February 24 and 25, Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez confirmed yesterday.
Last March, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced a ban on glass bottles during the annual festival as they are often used as weapons by intoxicated persons. Martinez said the council, authorised vendors and citizens have welcomed the move.
“It’s the first time it will happen and there are going to be people who we will have to caution but I am sure the vendors and citizens will respect the fact that glass bottles should not be allowed,” he said.
Martinez said vendors will have to adhere to selling drinks in cans.
In response to concerns that the capital city has become unsafe following two recent shooting rampages which resulted in the death of three people and injury to several others, Martinez said there should be no disruptions for Carnival.
“So I want to urge citizens to feel safe and come out and enjoy the celebrations and to fear not that the criminal elements will rear their heads around this time,” he said.
He said over the years Carnival in Port-of-Spain has been safe with a high police presence.
“The Corporation’s municipal police will also be vigilant. Whatever assistance our police can give to Carnival I know we would step up,” he said
Martinez said the Corporation, which has a strength of more than 100 municipal officers, will request back up from the TTPS>
He also announced that Carnival 2020 will be launched at 4 pm on Friday at Woodford Square.
However, one event, the traditional Frederick Street parade, has been dropped from the city’s calendar of Carnival activities due to lack of funds.
“As soon as things improve financially it would return,” Mayor Martinez assured.
He said the downtown parade route still has to be worked out with the National Carnival Commission (NCC).
“Soon we will be meeting with NCC to finalise the route to get the ball rolling,” he said.