Promoters fed up with high police costs for events; filing FOIA

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Promoters fed up with high police costs for events; filing FOIA

Fed up with consistently paying for “excessive police strength” at events, the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters Association intends to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

The association has complained repeatedly about the exorbitant cost to hire police to be at events.

During a press conference at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on Monday, TTPAs president Jerome “Rome” Precilla said the TTPS was due to re-evaluate and monitor its policies and procedures for extra-duty arrangements with fete promoters and event organisers back in August, but none of this had actually happened.

He said they intend to file the FOIA “as it relates to police intervention in the licensing arrangement and to discover what aspect of the court policy mandates this.”

They also plan to lobby for changes to the Theatres and Dance Halls Act.

Precilla said: “We cannot see what are the police [officers’] role and function when they come to an event, that is not clear…when we ask the police what is the ratio of officers to the number of patrons, they cannot tell us that because it varies from event to event in their mind.

“They said it’s based on a risk factor and it’s up to the Senior Superintendent who decides, but that is way too subjective because we have cases where promoters wouldn’t move so well with the Senior Superintendent for whatever reason…if a police officer doesn’t like you, he can send extra strength because he knows it’s going to cost you more money and it will hurt your pocket.”

“We’re saying it big and bold, there are some corrupt police officers out there who will do that for…extra cash.”

“Every other industry has regulations, so why not the entertainment industry? We are calling on the TTPS to get their act together and let us have some regulations in place.”

Precilla continued: “We are not saying we don’t want police at these events, we are saying there must be a structured approach.”

The association said it failed to reach a reasonable position with the TTPS despite several meetings and feels it is not the responsibility of the business community to pay officers’ extra duty.