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CPL chief says security at final was adequate
Head of the Southern Division and Gold Commander in charge of last Saturday’s Caribbean Premier League final, Senior Supt Zamsheed Mohammed, is maintaining there was adequate police presence during the match at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Scores of fans complained about being stuck in traffic for as long as two hours before reaching the venue to see the Trinbago Knight Riders earn their second CPL title in five years with a three-wicket win over the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
There were also complaints of a lack of police presence on the highway, resulting in chaos as errant drivers drove on the shoulder in order to get to the Tarouba stadium.
Contacted yesterday, however, Mohammed said the sanctioned strength for the match was 144 police officers, which was more than enough as officers were deployed both externally and internally at the venue, which the organiser said was at its full 15,000 capacity for the game.
“During the event I was at the operations centre and I also did some visits around and based on what I saw there was minimal traffic congestion because we had assistance from parking attendants,” Mohammed told the T&T Guardian.
“There was also signage along the highways indicating which lane to take. Prior to the game all the parking was filled and we had no choice but to use the bypass road. We had at least 50 officers outside the venue.”
But former national security minister Gary Griffith yesterday called for total overhaul of the extra duty allowance system in the Police and Fire Services. Officers are paid an extra duty allowance to provide security at events, as requested by an organiser.
Griffith, who owns a private security firm and is also the consultant for the T&T Football Association and the T&T Cricket Board, said, “All the police do is stay on the outskirts, the corners and the corridors to watch the event. There must be a total audit to deal with major events, because it cannot be himself unto himself.”
He said at international matches held at Wembley, police would not be in the venue but rather outside to direct traffic.
“But some of the police here don’t want to do that because they want to see the game. In the CPL game there was a blatant absence of police officers to assist in traffic control and that’s what caused major traffic congestion,” Griffith added.
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