‘No weapons’ policy for upcoming major events in Berbice – Commander
After gunshots were fired at the May 27 ‘Baderation’ dancehall concert at the National Park, the safety and security at other major concerts have become a top priority for the Guyana Police Force.
Upcoming major events such as the Guyana Cup set for August 14 at the Rising Sun Turf Club on the West Coast of Berbice and the Hopetown Soiree on July 31, will have a strictly ‘no weapons’ policy, Regional Commander Kurleigh Simon said during a recent ‘Police and You’ episode.
Jamaican dancehall artiste ‘Skillibeng’ is expected to perform following the Guyana Cup event.
Commander Simon emphasised that while a plan is being formulated for licensed firearm holders, no one will be allowed entry to these events with a weapon of any kind.
“We are going to try to put systems in place for persons who are carrying licensed firearms to have those firearms secured at a convenient location where they can be retrieved after the event.
“We have taken note of the last public show they had at the National Park and what transpired and we don’t want to be caught up in that, so we are putting systems in place to ensure the region is policed before, during, and after that particular event (Guyana Cup),” Commander Simon explained.
At the ‘Baderation’ concert, glass bottles were also hurled in the air and there were alleged robberies at the venue.
The next day, on May 28, a firearm, multiple scissors, knives and improvised weapons were seized from patrons who attended the J’ouvert at the National Park.
The items were seized after patrons were scanned before entering the event.
Meanwhile, Commander Simon noted that the promoters and organisers are required to satisfy specific requirements before permission is granted by the Guyana Police Force for them to host such events.
“With public events, the promoter or the organiser will notify the police via a written application. We [will] go through the stages of the application and ensure they satisfy all the requirements and [depending] on the estimated crowd, we will detail ranks to go and perform duties at that event.”
As it relates to the Hopetown Soiree, events will start on July 02, leading into August 01.
“We have already sat down with the promoters, we are going to have a second meeting with them soon. We know that the Soiree event of itself will be on July 31st, that is the biggest event of all. That means, we are going to have [to] detail adequate ranks to police that event.”
But the security concern does not only relate to policing the events. In this regard, Commander Simon explained that there will also be a ‘sanitising’ of the region for any criminal activity.
“We will have our roadblocks and checks at each district to ensure that nothing on towards happen during the celebrations.
“It is not about the event alone, we will have our normal police patrol the villages to ensure that when persons are out enjoying themselves their houses are not being broken into,” the Commander added.