Promoters who fail to comply with the conditions of their party permits this Crop Over season could have their events shut down.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce said today that non-compliance, as well as late application for permits, were proving to be troublesome and lawmen would be reviewing procedures, going forward.
He said there were cases where promoters were given permission to host parties, but then the actual events were far removed from what had been applied for.
“[It would have been] given under the understanding that the event would have been a manageable event. The persons who would have been interviewed in the immediate area would have had the opportunity to say that they didn’t have any objections, provided that [the event] would have finished by whatever deadline,” Boyce told reporters at a Press conference at police headquarters today.
“One of the things that we seek from the promoters is the number of persons that he or she anticipates will attend. If he thinks he is going to get 100 people, then tell us. In the event that more people attend, that is where the challenge comes. [It raises questions like]: is the venue adequate? Do we need to call in the Fire Service to get their approval? All those things come into play,” he added.
In light of this, Boyce said the force would be taking the position of insisting that in the case of large events there would have to be some engagement between the promoter and law enforcement to ensure additional security personnel were on hand to handle the bigger numbers and parking issues. Boyce also warned that organizers of breakfast parties, during and outside of Crop Over, would also not escape scrutiny.
The senior officer said police would also be looking closely at how they issued permission for events like these which “have the potential to disrupt churches and impeding traffic flows”.
“We get people saying, ‘Well, I want to hold a fete from four in the morning to seven in the morning. This is the time that we want to serve breakfast and we want to have that kinda merriment’. And we have issued permits, only to find out that it has challenged churches because your speakers are heavy; it has challenged traffic flow because people can’t get to church on time. It is something that we are looking at carefully. [It] is something that we would want to manage really tightly this year,” Boyce said.
“ . . . And some people go to the East Coast and say, ‘Well it doesn’t really affect [anybody]’, but we have had complaints that it has been affecting people. That is something that we want to control. We don’t want to prohibit enjoyment and limit a person’s feting, but at the same time you have to bear in mind that there are other people who must also be given some consideration.”
Addressing the issue of promoters submitting applications later than the four-week deadline before their parties, Boyce said this was a headache because the short notice did not allow lawmen to carry out the necessary investigations before permits could be issued.
“One of the things that we do when we receive that application is to investigate . . . location,” Boyce said.
However, using an example of a house party, he said: “You get an application for a party for a few people, but because of the social media exchanges, you get the few turning into many and then there are implications for parking. You’re parking in front of somebody’s house.
“There are other environmental issues, health issues; people are using . . . guard walls or back areas to urinate and you even get people complaining that they have to get up on mornings and move used condoms and those sort of things,” Boyce said.
He has also made it clear that police will not be issuing any form of permits for amplified music beyond 3 a.m.