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Police officers on duty at Heritage Square on Friday, July 5, 2024.
Police officers on duty at Heritage Square on Friday, July 5, 2024.
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Police in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, on Saturday, rescinded a curfew on carnival activities, less than 24 hours after it was issued.

On Friday, the Public Relations and Complaints Department said that the constabulary strongly urges” all bar owners and operators throughout St. Vincent, especially in Kingstown, to close their establishments by 10 p.m. from that night until July 9, when the festival is scheduled to end.

“This directive is issued in response to current circumstances that necessitate heightened safety measures and public order,” the police said and south the cooperation of the public during the period “to maintain public safety”.

One source familiar with police operations told iWitness News that the “cryptic message” had been issued because police resources had been stretched to the limit as officers have responded to security issues arising from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Beryl on Monday.

The curfew would have seen the Soca Monarch competition, the flagship show of Vincy Mas, taking place from noon today until 8 p.m.

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Demarche Gras would have taken place at a similar time, while J’ouvert would have been cancelled.

However, on Saturday, the police force issued another press release, announcing amended times for the shows.

 The police force said the decision was taken after “lengthy discussions” between the Carnival Development Corporation and the police force, and considering the prevailing national circumstances.

The revised schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, July 6 — Soca Monarch: 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Sunday, July 7, 2024 – Dimarche Gras: 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Monday, July 8, 2024 – J’ouvert: 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Street Party (T-shirt Band): 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2024 – Mas: 10 A.M. – 8 p.m.

Private shows are permitted to continue until 11 p.m., the police force said.

“The RSVGPF urges all participants and organisers to adhere strictly to these new schedules. Reflecting on the current challenges, we want to assure the public that we are open to listening to the concerns and queries of the people we serve,” the release said.

It continued:

“However, we must assert that the safety and security of our citizens, residents, and visitors remain our top priority. It is crucial that these changes are observed to ensure a secure and successful carnival for everyone.

“Additionally, carnival bars will be allowed to operate during their usual times but must close by 12 midnight on Monday, July 8, 2024, and Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bar owners and operators are also reminded to strictly adhere to the ‘no bottle policy’ when conducting business with patrons.

“We sincerely appreciate your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times. Let us work together to ensure an enjoyable and safe carnival for all.”

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1 Comment

  1. The correct thing to do was to postpone carnival. But if you’re having carnival those times are ridiculous. There was a directive from one man to remove the curfew. Stop lying to us

    Reply

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