EDITORIAL - Stay safe this Crop Over season
Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:00am
THE 2016 Crop Over season is fast reaching its climax, as there are only four more days until the festival culminates with Grand Kadooment – the street parade that brings out thousands of Barbadians and visitors to celebrate together and show off their costumes for the judges.
This year’s festival has so far been a wonderful display of culture topped with the fervent participation of Barbadians.
The Government and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) have been pulling out all the stops to improve several aspects of the festival, and these efforts seem to be bearing fruit. The NCF has advertised events in order to ensure that their message reached far and wide and thousands of visitors and locals alike have responded to the call, attending state-sponsored events in their numbers, providing a much needed boost to the local economy.
Private groups have also been playing their part with highly popular fetes drawing in thousands of revellers throughout the entire month of July, ensuring that every appetite for enjoyment is met.
The members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) must at this time be commended for their commitment to the safety and well-being of Barbadians, especially during the Crop Over festival, and for increasing efforts to ensure the smooth running of events. For instance, a few weeks ago there was talk circulating via social media about planned violence during the Foreday Morning by certain segments of society, to which police officials responded by assuring the public that they were aware of the situation, there was no longer any threat and that the RBPF would be on hand to ensure everyone’s safety.
In addition to efforts from the RBPF, every individual in this country has a part to play in keeping themselves safe: for example, leave expensive possessions at home when partying; do not post alerts on social media apps about your whereabouts or planned activities; avoid travelling alone, especially late at night; and be cautious at the Automatic Banking Machines (ABM) and when using cash in public.
Other personal actions that can keep you safe during the festival include being on your best behaviour and avoiding conflict.
Instead, resort to early policing intervention where there are situations that may degenerate into conflict. Also, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages to excess. Despite the warning to drink responsibly, countless revellers over imbibe, leading to
several devastating consequences like dehydration, alcohol poisoning, and impaired judgement, the latter of which can be a factor in violent flare-ups, risky sexual behaviour, and driving under the influence (DUI).
At this time, we take the opportunity to urge every person to be vigilant and stay safe this Crop Over, and each and every day of the year.