Police leave will be cancelled and the Barbados Defence Force is being roped in as part of efforts by the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to quash any attempts by troublemakers to create disorder at the major Crop Over street events.
In light of recent threats on social media to disrupt the island’s premier festival, Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith said yesterday the Force would spare no efforts to ensure the safety of revellers and patrons at Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment.
“Specifically as it relates to Grand Kadooment and Foreday Morning, one can expect some changes as to the policing effort.
“I should say that as part of our efforts in policing these events . . . we are supported by the Barbados Defence Force. We have had preliminary discussions with the Barbados Defence Force and very shortly we will have further discussions with them to finalize the design of the plans. I can assure you that we are not going to leave any stone unturned and it will be quite safe for patrons attending the events,” Griffith told reporters following a promotions ceremony at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City for 14 members of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.
In an unprecedented move to ensure a safe Crop Over festival the RBPF warned it would fight fire with fire as part of a new intelligence-based security plan now in an advanced stage of readiness.
Griffith said as a part of security exercise, there would be targeted searches, even if it meant people would have to leave their homes earlier than initially planned.
“One can also expect that both revellers and viewers of the parades can expect increased checks in terms of searches. My advice is that persons who especially [are] coming to Foreday Morning should factor in an earlier time frame for arriving at the venue,” he cautioned.
Flanked by his senior officers, the top cop revealed that the ability of the Force to more efficiently and effectively detect trouble would be strengthened by improved lighting and the use of technology.
He added that officers also would be on the lookout for firearms.
“You are aware that there is much concern in the country as it relates to gun-enabled crime and obviously, that is a factor that will be significant in terms of how we design our plan. That is something [about which] we have significant concern. But whatever . . . intelligence that we get, we will factor in as well,” he pointed out.