With the fallout from the four hour long gridlock on the Palisadoes road continues to unfold, it’s now been reported that Police commanders were instructed last year not to issue any more permits for 7th Harbour, the venue for the New Year’s Day party that is being blamed for the traffic gridlock that shut down the highway leading to the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), law-enforcement sources have revealed.
The directive was issued by the Police High Command, sources said, after last year’s staging of the popular party series Sandz also caused a huge traffic pile-up along the Palisadoes Road.
“The High Command last year issued a directive that no permit should be issued for that venue,” one source insisted.
Yesterday, a member of the Police High Command stopped short of confirming this assertion.
“I know we had very serious concerns about what happened out there [last year], but I can’t recall if there was a directive that no more permits should be issued for the venue,” the senior cop told local media outlets.
The claim comes as Minister of National Security Robert Montague publicly rejected a report submitted to his office by Commissioner of Police George Quallo on the New Year’s Day traffic nightmare.
Questions are now been asked about how did the promoters get a permit since the venue was essentially blacklisted by the Police High Command? One theory been flouted around is that someone within the force was also linked to the staging of the event. And in light of the police having serious concerns about last year’s staging which caused a pile up, why wasn’t adequate policing arrangement made?
The incident, described by Quallo as embarrassing, prompted Montague to demand answers from the police chief,by way of a report.
The report was delivered almost two hours after the 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday but left the security minister disappointed.
Montague said that the report he received from Quallo was inadequate as it did not address the questions he raised.
He insisted that there needs to be a fulsome account to the public and said that the police personnel who were on duty at the time cannot be held solely responsible for the inadequate planning for the event.
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