Be Safe, Be Smart

Image: Three years ago, Gros Islet Carnival generated some positive buzz. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

ALL season long, the Carnival festivities have been progressing relatively smoothly with a few glitches here and there, many of which had to do with late starts due to inclement weather. But whether or not Carnival is of interest to you, we should all be thankful that violence has not thrown a monkey wrench in the organizers’ best-laid plans.

For many, Carnival serves as a “free up time” when they get to partake in some music and pageantry after spending months working under stressful conditions trying to eke out a living. For others, especially those whose bread and butter depend on the various economic spinoffs the season brings, it’s the time of year they get to prove their artistic and other skills.

What Carnival should never be reduced to, however, is the time of year when people let go of all inhibitions to the extent that they impinge on other people’s personal freedoms and rights.

The police have already signaled their intention to clamp down on those whose agendas might be to disrupt the peace by breaking the laws. It will be an uphill battle for the already resource-stretched police force, however, especially for such a large event that attracts thousands of people.

As such, it is incumbent on everyone to ensure that each be his or her brother’s and sister’s keeper. If something seems amiss, each must do his or her part to inform the relevant authorities, at least discreetly, in order to prevent danger from having its way.

Also, with a number of events carded for the Carnival weekend, it still remains the duty of promoters of events to ensure that they employ additional private security to ensure that the peace is kept. Patrons attending events should not find themselves paying only for entertainment but security also.

At this time of year, the criminal element also targets homes while homeowners are away. As a precaution, it would be best to inform a neighbor to keep a watchful eye on your premises while you are not at home.

With the skyrocketing incidents of car thefts these days, it would only be prudent to give thieves zero opportunity of stealing your vehicles. If possible, organizers of events might want to attach a small fee for special parking where properly-trained security personnel and/or equipment is present.

Carnival might be the business of fun. However, this does not discount the fact that criminals will use every opportunity to make a quick buck when your defenses are let down for a few minutes. Unfortunately, in a season when the emphasis should be placed on having a great time celebrating, people are forced to find themselves anticipating the criminal element’s next unscrupulous move.

Finally, with alcohol being a popular beverage of choice during the season, the temptation must be tempered so as to not over-indulge. Road accidents and other tragic consequences can result when people think they can handle another drink. In this case, too, being a brother’s and sister’s keeper would definitely apply. If you notice someone is not in the right state to drive, become a designated driver or call someone they know personally to come pick them up.

Be safe, be smart and have a safe and enjoyable Carnival weekend.

Stan Bishop is the current Editor at The Voice Publishing co. Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

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