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Brewery contravenes ‘No Bottle’ policy

Brewery contravenes ‘No Bottle’ policy

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The possibility exists that future applications by the St Vincent Brewery Ltd to the police to play amplified music at their events may be rejected.

This follows last Saturday’s Guinness reveal party, at which the Brewery served beverages in glass bottles, in contravention of the ‘No Bottle’ policy, which has been in existence {{more}}in St Vincent and the Grenadines for almost 10 years.

Inspector Hawkins Nanton, officer in charge of the Royal SVG Police Force Public Relations and Complaints Department, told SEARCHLIGHT that the enforcement of the ‘No Bottle’ policy is one of the nine conditions that promoters of public events are expected to adhere to when they are granted permission to play amplified music.

“The same nine conditions that are served to members of the public were also served to the Guinness promoters,” confirmed Inspector Nanton. “They were expected to comply with the conditions that we set out for them.”

He further said that when promoters are in breach of any of the conditions at their events, penalties that can be incurred include turning off the music at said event, and the rejection of permit applications for their future events.

However, commercial manager at the St Vincent Brewery Ltd Shafia London-Williams countered that all the necessary measures to ensure public safety were implemented at the event.

Explaining that there was extra security and persons to clear bottles and broken glass throughout the event, London-Williams said: “Everybody was safe at the end of the day… There were no incidents… it’s not something we do all the time, but this was an exception given the nature of the event.”

London-Williams said that not serving the Guinness beverage in its bottle would have defeated the purpose of the event, which was to showcase its new design.

“It’s a risk, but it was a controlled risk; and it’s not one we will repeat regularly.”

SEARCHLIGHT however observed that Guinness was not the only beverage that was served in glass bottles at the event.

London-Williams further countered that while she acknowledges that the ‘No Bottle’ policy was set in the interest of safety, it is not mandated by law or regulation.

The St Vincent Brewery Ltd has, over the years, been at the forefront of the promotion of the ‘No Bottle’ policy. In 2011, the company implemented a canning line operation, which allowed it to distribute some drinks in cans. In 2012, Hairoun Brand Manager Lamont Medica said for those drinks that are not available in cans, the brewery would provide plastic cups to vendors so that the beverages could be poured.

Since the implementation of the ‘No Bottle’ policy, police have reported a significant reduction in reports of bottle-related incidents during Vincy Mas. Former Commissioner of Police Keith Miller in 2012 said police regard the policy as a crime fighting strategy. He said because of the effectiveness of the policy, law enforcement officials advise all promoters to adopt the policy, even outside of the carnival season.

Inspector Nanton said the eight other conditions under which promoters are granted permission to play amplified music include: the free flow of traffic must not be hindered; the sound emanating from the public address system/musical instrument must be kept at such a level so as not to cause annoyance to residents; the event must cease at the time specified; songs with lyrical content capable of promoting/inciting violence, crimes or public disorder must not be played; the use of cannabis (marijuana) and/or cocaine must not be allowed; where anyone is employed as a disc jockey or musician, paragraphs 3,4 and 5 must be brought to his/her notice; adequate lighting must be available at the venue; and the document outlining these conditions must be kept at the venue of the function for presentation when requested by police.

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