POLICE Commissioner Severin Moncherry has issued a warning to carnival revelers that they should stay out of bands if they have not paid to jump up with them.
“We urge people, if you have not paid your money – it is not too late, I am sure there are bands that can still accommodate you. Pay your money and you can jump-up with the band. But if you do not, you need to stay out of the band,” Moncherry explained.
He told reporters at a news conference yesterday morning that the police will be enforcing the long-standing law.
“If you get into the band and you are not authorised because you have not paid, you will be arrested,” Moncherry warned.
The police commissioner disclosed that carnival will be ‘fully policed.’
He revealed that there will be in excess of 140 police officers ‘manning’ carnival and law enforcement officers will do everything in their power to ensure that the event is safe and people who come out to enjoy it will be safe as well.
Commissioner Moncherry called on Saint Lucians to unite during carnival celebrations in Castries.
“I need to say to the people of Saint Lucia, as we approach Carnival in Castries, that we need to show the world that we can conduct ourselves.
“We need to ensure that we control our temper, manage our anger and at least change our attitudes,” the commissioner said.
The Top Cop said if people believe their rights have been infringed, rather than take matters into their own hands, they should make a report to the police.
“Let us show the world that this is the time we are going to unite and we can unite,” the top cop stated.
He recalled that in the past few years, Saint Lucia has hosted successful carnival activities and he said he was looking forward to the same happening this year.
Commissioner Moncherry said he was very satisfied with the level of policing of Vieux Fort carnival activities last weekend and commended the people and police officers in the South for the manner in which they conducted themselves.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Culture Minister Fortuna Belrose has urged Saint Lucians to display responsible behaviour during the remaining carnival activities.
“We have had some good celebrations – the Kiddies Carnival, I understood, went quite well around the City on Sunday — and of course, also in Vieux Fort we witnessed some very good performances as well,” Belrose told reporters.
She also urged citizens to exercise caution and adhere to the rules of safety.
Belrose highlighted the need to ensure that organisers of carnival activities are aware of what is required when mass crowd events are planned.
“Throughout the course of the year, the training programmes will be designed to assist our various communities that are coming on board, because across the country we have the interest in carnival. But it’s about knowing how to deliver these events,” the minister told reporters Monday morning.
She spoke against the backdrop of an incident Sunday afternoon at Vanard, in which it was reported that several carnival revellers had to be hospitalised after becoming entangled in a rope that was attached to a moving truck.
“We really just want to empathise with the families of those persons who were caught in the freak accident,” the minister said.