Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jouvert ‘clampdown’ causes traffic

...but police keep celebrations safe


Mark Fraser

WITH large amounts of people flooding Port of Spain from as early as two o’clock yesterday morning the police were kept quite busy quelling minor flare-ups before they turned into major crimes.

Yesterday morning’s “clampdown” of the capital resulted in a nerve-grinding traffic jam along the Beetham Highway which began near the Vehicle Management Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Vmcott) building and ended by National Petroleum. Motorists were given the look-over by officers. Some were asked to pull aside following which a thorough search was conducted.

In fact, as the traffic wore on, Jouvert’s start time of 4 a.m.,  cruised past many grim-faced drivers who amid their woes could not even crank-up their vehicle’s sound systems for fear of attracting attention from the police.

Downtown Jouvert seemed devoid of any real violence as those present focused mainly on “ole mas” presentations and having drinks.

Uptown Port of Spain was a different affair and with much more people to manage the police appeared to have their hands filled.

First of all the bands were much, much bigger and it appeared they had their own security making the job of the police a lot easier. Despite this, however, they still had quite a few challenges.

One female eyewitness told the Express one man was seen being badly beaten by four others along Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, around 7.30 a.m. “Yuh know how hot sun and rum doh mix,” she said. He was later seen being taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital in the back of a police van and being attended to by three tourists.

Police also reported they made several arrests during the Carnival “clampdown” of Port of Spain where from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. several people who arrived by maxi-taxi were scanned and then searched at City Gate. Those found with weapons or narcotics were arrested and placed into a prison van where they were immediately taken to the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.

Police also reported  they seized three guns including one from a Cascade man who was found in possession of a Glock pistol and 17 rounds of ammo, while another man from Debe in south Trinidad was found with a pistol and six rounds of ammunition. Police had cause to search him when they found him smoking a large marijuana “roll on” while he was liming with friends along Ariapita Avenue.

According to ASP Joanne Archie of the Police Communications Unit apart from wounds from fights and bottle-throwing incidents there were no reports of more serious incidents.