Party promoters urged to plan day parties - Strict lock-off time for areas under state of emergency

July 12, 2019
Members of the security forces conduct spot checks along a section of Waltham Park  Road in South St Andrew, which is under a state of emergency.
Members of the security forces conduct spot checks along a section of Waltham Park Road in South St Andrew, which is under a state of emergency.
Gary Francis
Gary Francis
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Commander of the St Andrew South police division, Senior Superintendent Gary Francis, is advising party promoters to commence making arrangements to have their events held during daylight.

Francis, whose division is under a state of emergency, said that he will not be giving permission for entertainment events to go beyond 7 p.m.

The state of emergency (SOE)was announced last Sunday by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. It takes in areas such as Seaview Gardens, Maxfield Avenue, Molynes Road, Seaward Drive, Waterhouse, and New Haven.

"The only events which we will really allow are those day events," Francis told THE WEEKEND STAR.

"If we go beyond the daylight there will be a very early cut off time to these events, so depending on the type of event it may not suit the organiser to continue with the planning," Francis said.

"If a day stage show was planned, we would cut it off by 8 p.m. That way everyone will be off the road by 8:30 p.m. We cannot allow an event to go up until 9 p.m. because at 10 or 11:30 p.m., people will still be trying to disperse off the road," Francis added.

When he announced the state of emergency on Sunday, Holness said the area has recorded the highest number of murders since the start of the year. He said that close to 100 murders have been recorded in the division.

Meanwhile, Patrick Roberts, councillor for the Molynes Gardens division, said the state of emergency is likely to have an impact on the livelihood of communities in West Central St Andrew.

"The Olympic Way strip, which we call the entertainment strip, has been compromised by the SOE. We have our regular round robins, all these things are gatherings and the state of emergency doesn't allow for that," he said.

Roberts, however, said he understands the need for the extreme security measure.

"You have parts of the different areas where you have certain flare-ups, so it's definitely necessary. What we have to do is just work with the security forces and see what compromises we can come to," Roberts said.

He said persons in his area are now looking at innovative ways to host events. He said that one idea that has come forward thus far is the holding of day raves.