Police report incident free carnival

Police Commissioner Vernon Francois (L) with his staff officer Egbert Lansiquot making the rounds on Carnival Monday. The police have been commended for keeping the peace during Carnival celebrations.

Now that carnival has climaxed, various stakeholders are assessing their efficiency during the season.  The Royal St Lucia Police Force is one such agency and is reporting success in their efforts.
Corporal Trevor Constantine is from the Public Relations Branch of the RSLPF.  He told the STAR: “Carnival was very safe.  What accounted for that was a heavy police presence throughout the season, including the various shows.  We were everywhere and we have no reports of violence.  There were no reports made to us of any criminal activity during carnival events.”
Constantine extended the force’s gratitude to the public for unhindered cooperation.  He illustrated, “We were able to recover so many bottles from the public.  People were so cooperative.  We took so many bottles from all different characters and they handed the bottles over to us without any fuss.  They blamed the vendors but they still handed it to us.  We want to commend the public for behaving in such an orderly manner and for cooperating to the full extent with law enforcement.”
While a heavy police presence was observed on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, there were challenges facing the police in their quest to achieve a safe and productive carnival.
Said Constantine, “We were really stretched for carnival because we had to take people from various units and stations around the island.  Some stations were operating on a skeleton staff and we have to thank our officers for their hard work and dedication during the season.”
Though no serious incidents were recorded at Carnival events, outside of Carnival three tragic deaths were recorded over the weekend.
On Friday July 15 around 9:30pm Nathan Jamal Joseph of Soufriere was shot on Chaussee Road in Castries.  He was taken to the Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Police reports indicate that earlier that day, Joseph was involved in an altercation with two young men over a Playstation before he was killed. Two men are in police custody in connection with the incident and a post mortem will be performed shortly.
On Sunday July 17 around 6:10pm Stephen Charles, 59, of Forestierre was hit by a Toyota car.  He was later pronounced dead at the Victoria Hospital.  Police reports indicate a 21-year-old  of Forestierre was driving the Toyota car when he ran off the road and hit Charles.
Charles’ autopsy revealed death by haemorrhagic shock secondary to a tear on the aorta. He also sustained a fracture of the neck and spinal cord injury.
The driver was charged initially for Driving without a Valid License. He appeared in court on Tuesday July 19 where he was granted bail in the sum of $850 cash. He was also ordered to surrender his travel documents and report to the Traffic Department every Wednesday between the hours of 9am and 4pm. The case was adjourned to August 31.
A subsequent charge of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving was preferred against the same man and he was brought before a court on Thursday July 21 where he was granted bail in the sum of $7000 cash or suitable surety or land documents. He was ordered to report to the Traffic Department every Wednesday between the hours of 7am and 7pm. The case was adjourned to October 21.
Gloria Whitfield, 58, of Belle Vue, Vieux Fort died on the same day as Stephen Charles.  She was aboard a minibus registration number driven by a man of Belle Vue.
Around 8:20pm at Dacretin, Choiseul the minibus was travelling in the direction of Vieux-Fort when it ran off the road and crashed into a nearby house.          No one was in the house at the time.  All five passengers were taken to the St Jude Hospital—three were admitted.

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