No Busi­ness as Usual this Car­ni­val

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - Joshua St. Aimee

As is usual at this time of year, thou­sands of jump­ing Saint Lucians will hit the streets for car­ni­val on Mon­day and Tues­day. And, as usual, the main pub­lic con­cern will be crime man­age­ment. At this week’s pre-Cab­i­net press brief­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Sev­erin Monch­ery ad­dressed the is­sue. So far for July, other dis­tricts, like Vieux Fort and Roseau Val­ley, have held their own in­stall­ments of car­ni­val. Monch­ery took the op­por­tu­nity to com­mend his of­fi­cers for their ef­forts at main­tain­ing, so far, a sem­blance of or­der at these car­ni­val events.

As the party now moves to the cap­i­tal, the po­lice com­mis­sioner im­plored the pub­lic to con­duct them­selves in keep­ing with the law: “We need to en­sure that we con­trol our tem­pers, man­age our anger and change our at­ti­tudes. This is the time for us to unite and have a good time; not to hurt one an­other.”

He con­tin­ued, “More than 140 of­fi­cers will see to it that car­ni­val is ef­fec­tively po­liced so, if you be­lieve some­one has in­fringed your rights, rather than tak­ing mat­ters into your own hands, I urge that you at least speak to a po­lice of­fi­cer and make a report.”

Monch­ery cau­tioned the pub­lic that this year’s fes­tiv­i­ties would not be busi­ness as usual. The prac­tice of in­fil­trat­ing bands will not be tol­er­ated this year. He cited the Crim­i­nal Code of Saint Lu­cia, and the law that pro­hibits un­law­ful en­try into a band, abu­sive lan­guage, threat­en­ing and dis­or­derly be­hav­iour and re­fus­ing to leave the band af­ter be­ing re­quested to do so by an au­tho­rized per­son. The fine for not ad­her­ing to this law is $1,000, or im­pris­on­ment for one year, or both.

Monch­ery noted that the law gov­ern­ing be­hav­iour at car­ni­val time is not new, it’s just that it has sel­dom been im­ple­mented. This year, said the com­mis­sioner, things will be dif­fer­ent. Time will tell if he ac­tu­ally fol­lows the lead set by Mayor Peter­son Fran­cis who warned that in­di­vid­u­als who uri­nate in the street would pay the price.

The com­mis­sioner also had spe­cial words for or­gan­is­ers of so-called mass events. He ex­pressed con­cern that they have grown ac­cus­tomed to ad­ver­tis­ing their pro­mo­tions be­fore their ap­pli­ca­tions have been pro­cessed, clar­i­fy­ing that this is con­trary to law. One par­tic­u­lar event that caught his at­ten­tion ad­ver­tised a 3 a.m. start and a 9 a.m. fin­ish. “This ac­tiv­ity will not take place,” em­pha­sised the com­mis­sioner, con­firm­ing that the po­lice will not per­mit events to con­tinue past two o’ clock in the morn­ing.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Sev­erin Monch­ery (pic­tured) is in­sist­ing on a crime-free Car­ni­val 2018!

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