Page 8 STABROEK NEWS, Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Carifesta X countdown
Police pledge tight security
With just days left before Guyana hosts
Carifesta X, the security forces have given all
assurances that they are ready to ensure a safe
environment for the ten-day mega event which
will see thousands converging on the capital.
Crime control is at the top of the agenda
and come Friday there will be a heavy police
presence on foot and in vehicles at the various
host venues. Firefighters and members of the
bomb squad with some assistance from
Trinidad and Tobago will be ready in case of
Yesterday members of the Carifesta
Security Committee gave the media a detailed
briefing of their security plan at Police HQ,
Arrangements for border security, protec-
tion of those attending the various events and
the smooth flow of traffic were all priority
areas and assurances were given that there is
adequate equipment and manpower to tackle
these areas effectively.
Acting Commissioner of Police Henry
Greene told the media that every station is
equipped to respond to any threat in their dis-
He pointed out that from last Friday, the
patrols in Georgetown were increased and
specific areas where they will work have
already been identified. According to the
Commissioner the Canine Unit is working in
specific areas at night and the Mounted
Branch is working around the market areas.
According to Greene, all ranks will be
working during the Carifesta period and will
be on the streets in "one way or the other" to
ensure adequate security at the venues'.
Visits will also be made to places of
accommodation and nightspots in keeping
with the security plan. There will be assistance
from the various divisional commanders
where some of the events are being held.
The bomb squad he assured will be operat-
ing at the airport and several venues with the
assistance of the Guyana Defence Force.
All commanders are expected to provide
adequate security in their various divisions
and the top cop pointed out that the force is
expecting the full support of the Community
Policing Groups during this period.
Greene said that while there is excitement
over Carifesta, he is giving the assurance that
"the Police and the Joint Services stand ready
to provide you the relevant protection."
Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said all secu-
rity arrangements for ranks at the airport and
host venues are in place. According to Persaud
all ranks will be provided with communication
equipment throughout the duration of the
mega event and there are several arrangements
in place to deal with security at the airport
which is the main port of entry.
The VIP lounge, he added, will be used and
manned as necessary and ranks will be placed
at strategic points when necessary.
At Moleson Creek, another port of entry,
Persaud said that arrangements will be made
to provide escorts from there to Georgetown.
Delegates are being escorted from the air-
port to their places of accommodation and will
be conducted to their various venues.
The crime chief pointed out that mobile,
uniformed and CID patrols will be on duty.
Further he stated that at accommodation
and event venues checks will be made for
explosives. Screening, he said, will be done
prior to the event.
He gave all assurances that bomb disposal
capabilities will be in place in time for the
event and Guyana will be getting assistance
from Trinidad in this area.
The Anti-kidnapping squad will be reacti-
vated in time for Carifesta and will be housed
at CID Headquarters.
As with the Cricket World Cup, a night
court will be set up to deal with crimes com-
mitted against visitors to ensure that they are
dealt with quickly.
According to Persaud, each division will
have a team to deal with matters relating to
The arresting of wanted men, targeting of
hot crime spots and patrolling of the border
are all part of the crime control plan.
Meanwhile Commander of A Division,
Welton Trotz said that the staging of Carifesta
represents "a great task but we are prepared to
deal with it."
In keeping with the security plan, the
Commander said that there will be road blocks
and searches. Also arrangements are being
made to have private security personnel work-
ing alongside ranks to provide extra security.
In addition, he said, they have approached
private security companies to have their vehi-
cles on patrol day and night.
To deal with the congestion of traffic at
various venues, the traffic department has put
several measures in place.
According to Traffic Chief Neil Semple
there will be ranks on the road giving direc-
tions and signals at the various venues.
Ranks, he said, will be on foot and vehicu-
Semple added that special attention will be
paid to the opening and closing ceremonies.
To ease traffic build up, cars will be parked
in the open area between Buddy's Hotel and
the National Stadium and to get to it drivers
will use the eastern lane. The other lane will
be used by the VIPs and delegates.
Duncan Street will be turned into a one-
way street during Carifesta and there will be
no parking on the eastern highway.
Parking will be allowed in a section of the
National Exhibition Centre, Sophia. At the
National Park, several adjoining streets will be
closed and the Rugby Field inside will be used
as the parking lot. Several roads near the
National Cultural Centre will also be closed to
traffic and parking will be done on the centre's
The traffic at the other host venues will
also be targeted.
The Joint Services will also be on board to
deal with the protection of the State as it
relates to the security of the prison, the back-
lands and other areas.
In giving an overview of the Joint Services
contribution, Chief of Staff Commodore Gary
Best said that the mission of the Joint Services
is to protect the State against any violent crim-
inal or domestic terrorist activities. And this
represents and reflects an integrated approach
to security not only for Georgetown but also
the entire State.
Commodore Best pointed out that this mis-
sion encompasses the Prison, Fire, Police and
Guyana Defence Force.
He revealed that Operation Warden had
been launched for Carifesta and as such
Operation Restore Order had been subdued.
A special counter terrorism group will be
prepared and is in training to deal with any
aspect of domestic terrorism at any venue.
This special group has been drawn particular-
ly from the GDF.
He pointed out that the front lands and the
backlands will be dominated to ensure that
there is no harbouring of criminals in those
areas and there will be focus on the lockdown
procedure of the prison and the control of pris-
The Chief of Staff gave the assurance that
the Joint Services will be ready to deal with
any threat to the State by criminals in any
Meanwhile Minister of Home Affairs
Clement Rohee, who is the Chairman of the
Board, said that the country is ready for the
staging of the mega event and pointed out that
at the end of it all "we will be left with a feel-
ing of tremendous satisfaction."