The Guyana Police Force is of the view that this year’s Flag raising ceremony and other Republic Day celebrations will be incident free and properly secured.
In an invited comment from Divisional Commander, Clifton Hicken on Tuesday (February 21, 20167), he said all arrangements are in place for tonight’s (Wednesday, February 22, 2017) Flag raising ceremony and the subsequent float parade on Thursday.
Rehearsals for the flag raising ceremony have already started. The Commander asserted that this year’s planning is more advanced than last year when Guyana hosted its Jubilee celebrations since there is more co-ordination and professionalism.
Among the changes made is for a perimeter fence to aid in crowd control.
“For the jubilee celebration we used barriers and whenever crowd encroach on the barrier, it will normally be moved away from its stationary position. So what we have now is a fixed fence that is a permanent structure…It separates the bleachers from the inner activity which will be a Durban park. It serve two purposes; one is that they cannot be accident in terms of vehicle rolling over anybody foot like last year…It is so designed that there is adequate amount of buffer that separates patrons from the fence too” Hicken said.
There are also openings in the fence which will be manned by the Guyana Fire Service in case of an emergency.
Guyana’s 50th Independence anniversary flag raising ceremony was, according to critics, filled with a considerable measure of incompetence and ineptitude added to failure to honour aspects of the protocol and logistics. Among issues experienced were no proper seating arrangements for members of the Opposition. Reports also suggest ordinary Guyanese were also moved around to make up for what was lacking and even blocked from entering the ground at some point. There was also a lack of diversity in the cultural programs.
In relation to the Mashramani float parade, Hicken noted that there will be maximum security along the route.
“For ease and simplicity and to have maximum supervision on the ground, the route is divided into six sectors; the starting point and the area where they’re culminating at Durban Park will have senior officers manning. All through this route we will have adequate amount of ranks” he related.
Added to that there will be police ranks from the Tactical Services Unit who would be on standby to lend support.
The 2017 Mashramani parade will commence from Church Street and Avenue of the Republic along the western carriageway, turning east onto Brickdam and proceeding to Durban Park.
Traffic diversions commenced from as early as 06:00 hrs today (Wednesday, February 22, 2017) to ensure there are no mix ups.