RESIDENTS from St Clair, St Ann’s, Belmont and Long Circular complained about loud music and bad parking during a police town meeting Wednesday for the St Clair police district.
The meeting was held at Queen’s Royal College, Port of Spain.
The meeting also included speakers from the Fire Service and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).
Snr Supt Lincoln Daly, who heads the Port of Spain Division, told the Express the police wanted to have as many experts as possible, as St Clair was not just a residential area but an area with schools, businesses and entertainment venues.
Steve Lall-Beharry, regional coordinator, Emergency Response & Investigations at the EMA, was the first speaker and talked about noise pollution control rules.
He explained that in St Clair they were aware that following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, “lots of pre-Carnival activities started in July and went straight till the end of the year”.
He said these events were not simply allowed to happen but, rather, promoters had to go through a rigorous process to secure permission to have an event.
St Clair resident Levanne Forde said “fetes on weekends were loud and homes vibrate”.
Another woman complained that during fetes in February this year, her gate was blocked and she actually had to argue with two drivers; and in a third case, had to pay a wrecker to move a car as she had an emergency.
She said a part of Hayes Street was also blocked off and residents did not know what to do, as they had no idea access to the road would be restricted.
for funding issues’
QRC principal David Simon said when the college held its Fete Royale Carnival party this year, “we followed the letter of the law” and that Hayes Street was closed off with police permission to try and stop traffic.
He explained that these events were important for the school’s funding issues.
Another resident from Federation Park complained not just about fetes during Carnival, but Monday’s Stink and Dutty event in the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Residents from Belmont and Fondes Amandes, St Ann’s, also complained about the walls of their homes “vibrating” due to Stink and Dutty.
Snr Supt Daly said they were aware St Clair had a lot of activity, but that they were going to start to treat these events differently.
“Once you have events, however, you are going to have a whole lot of noise,” he said.
He admitted there were “parking challenges” during these events, and proposed a shuttle system where cars are parked elsewhere and mini-buses bring patrons to the venue.
“All reports will be treated fairly,” he promised.
The Fire Service, in delivering its advice to residents, advocated for the need for fire extinguishers and emergency exits for homes.
“Three minutes is the time needed for a fire to completely destroy an average room with its contents,” said acting FSSO Romano of the Fire Prevention Department.
He advised residents to have at least one extinguisher for the kitchen, fire alarms in kitchens and bedrooms, and burglar-proofing that would remain padlocked but could be easily opened to allow for an escape during an emergency.
He also advocated that homeowners set up muster points so that while a fire is being dealt with, fire officers would not have to be concerned about finding people, having done a head count of occupants as soon as they got there.