Fete promoters want security fee issue cleared up

Fete pro­mot­ers can pay up to $150,000 for manda­to­ry pro­tec­tive ser­vices for po­lice and fire of­fi­cers to be present at each of their events.

This cost, the TT Pro­mot­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (TTPA) said, con­tin­ues to rise and they are seek­ing a meet­ing with the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to pro­pose so­lu­tions to this is­sue.

At a press con­fer­ence held at the Pres­i­dent’s Box of the Queen’s Park Crick­et Club, the as­so­ci­a­tion said while they do not dis­agree with the cur­rent sys­tem, which man­dates that fire and po­lice of­fi­cers be present at their events to en­sure pub­lic safe­ty, they take is­sue in its am­bi­gu­i­ty and con­flict of in­ter­est present with­in it.

“We’ve asked time- and- time again in var­i­ous meet­ings to have a for­mu­la we can ap­ply to these al­lo­ca­tions…No one in the TTPA be­lieves that there should be no po­lice and no fire of­fi­cers at events…the bot­tom line is the in­dus­try can no longer af­ford these costs.

These costs have al­ready caused sev­er­al event pro­duc­ers to can­cel events this Car­ni­val and more of this will hap­pen in the fu­ture if this sit­u­a­tion is not rec­ti­fied,” group ac­tivist Paige De Leon said at the news con­fer­ence.

Cur­rent­ly, in or­der to get the re­spec­tive per­mis­sions, the Po­lice Ser­vice rec­om­mends a manda­to­ry num­ber of of­fi­cers re­quired at events to the court when ap­pli­ca­tions for li­cens­es are made.

TTPA said the court usu­al­ly ac­cepts the rec­om­men­da­tions of the po­lice and this they claim is a con­flict of in­ter­est.

“We be­lieve there is a con­flict of in­ter­est at play with the Po­lice and Fire Ser­vice be­ing re­spon­si­ble for hir­ing them­selves…We would like an in­de­pen­dent pan­el of be­tween three and five per­sons to ad­ju­di­cate on the grant­i­ng of li­cens­es,” De Leon said.

The TTPA be­lieves that the Fire Ser­vice’s reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing space per per­son need­ed to be con­tex­tu­alised to the coun­try’s cul­ture.

“Fire Ser­vice reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing space per per­son at events is not in keep­ing with the re­al­i­ties of our cul­ture and does not re­flect what we con­sid­er to be best prac­tice,” De Leon ex­plained.

Head of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s le­gal team Kei­th Scot­land al­so ex­plained that they would like of­fi­cers present at events to work in tan­dem with pro­mot­ers.

He said these of­fi­cials should bring any is­sues to the pro­mot­er be­fore tak­ing mat­ters in­to their own hands.

Reporter: Rishard Khan

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