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PM: Deal with perpretrators, let others enjoy themselves

PM: Deal with perpretrators, let others enjoy themselves


Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves does not agree with the decision made by the police to shut down rural carnival events entirely in the event that violence erupts.{{more}}

Speaking on the ‘Morning Scoop’ program on Star FM on Wednesday, the prime minister said that he had already spoken to the Commissioner of Police and that he was making an appeal to some police officers who do not respond with the degree of sensitivity.

He spoke of an incident where the carnival activities at South Rivers were shut down prematurely, although the organizing committee had received permission to carry on the activities until a certain time.

“There is no disorder, how can you lock it down?” he questioned.

So too, the prime minister responded to the comment made by Assistant Superintendant of Police (ASP) Jonathan Nichols, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, that the plug would be pulled on any carnival event where violence broke out.

“I heard that it was announced by police on radio without any qualification that if there is a disruption, that they will close down entire event,” Gonsalves said.

“Now, if two or three people have a fight, deal with those three people,” he said.

He added that whether the police decided to arrest, pull the perpetrators aside or take them down to the station, law-abiding people should be allowed to get on with their business of enjoying themselves.

“A lot of people underestimate the social value of festivals such as carnival – I do not,” the prime minister declared.

“I understand the sociology of the country,” he said.

And people have choices whether they want to participate in the carnival activities or stay away, he said.

“But people who want to enjoy themselves, let them enjoy themselves,” Gonsalves said.

He also asked the police to be firm when they needed to, but to also be more sensitive.

“We have to live and let live and balance the thing,” the prime minister said.

Revellers at the South Windward carnival were disappointed after a number of incidents occurred during their J’Ouvert, including the stabbing incident involving two young men. Following that incident, a decision had been taken by police to cancel the street jump up scheduled for later that day. (DD)