The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has promised heightened police presence during Carnival Monday and Tuesday while warning criminal elements to stay away from the events.
Police Chief Vernon Francois told a media conference on Thursday that a team of over 200 police officers will be working hard to maintain law and order during this year’s celebration.
“I want to assure Saint Lucians that we will be out in full force to ensure a safe carnival. I want to send out a message out there to those who want to come out and engage in criminal activities during the course of carnival that we are going to deal with them,” he added.
“We will also have patrols in surrounding communities because we have noticed when people leave their homes to go and take part in carnival activities we need to provide a level of security for them. We are proposing to do our patrols in the various communities surrounding Castries during the course of carnival,” François told the media.
According to Francois, a team from the RSLPF has had a series of meetings with the Carnival Planning and Management Agency (CMPA) and the Carnival Bands Association (CBA).
“We have had also a number of in-house meetings in terms of planning our operations,” noted.
It was agreed that Carnival Monday will be from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. and Carnival Tuesday from midday to 7 p.m. He said persons must adhere to the 7 p.m. agreement. The decision not to extend the hours for both days is because of limited human resource capacity.
“It is going to be different from the past, where if the bands are still on the road, we were going to give them some extra time, notwithstanding the close off time we had agreed to, but we decided this year wherever the bands are at 7 p.m, carnival will stop at 7p.m.”
The use of loud speakers will not be permitted in the city of Castries after 7 p.m. High police presence is also expected for j’ouvert which is between 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.