Editorial

What did the police promise dance promoters?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

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We are awaiting word from the Police High Command on the outcome of last Thursday's meeting between party promoters and Assistant Commissioner of Police Kevin Blake, to address a request to extend the closing time for parties and dances.

As it stands, those noise-generating events are to end at midnight during the week and 2:00 am on weekends, under the Noise Abatement, or Night Noise Act as it is more popularly known.

The police reportedly summoned Corporate Area party promoters to the meeting at the Half-Way-Tree Police Station in St Andrew, after promoters complained loudly that their events were being forcibly ended by the police at a time of night that they believe to be too early, thus causing them to lose money.

Apparently, the straw that broke the camel's back was the closing down of the very popular retro party “FootLoose” at Mas Camp in Kingston at 2:00 am a fortnight ago. The promoter claims that he had received a permit to go on until 4:00 am.

While the public has received no word from the police on the outcome of the meeting, a spokesman for the promoters has gleefully informed us that promoters are optimistic that their events will be granted extended time.

To quote the spokesman: “Things look good so far, an' di main thing that we want to happen, look like it's going to happen. Wi a fight fi parties stop lock off 12 o'clock during the week and 2:00 am on weekends. People nuh understand that back in di day a one party keep per week, but now every single day has a party…People can leave from Wet Sundays an' go Boom Sundays an' so on. That way, everybody can eat a food…Many people benefit from di parties that keep every day.”

The long-suffering public needs to hear what terms were agreed with the promoters who, truth be told, have only themselves to blame for the closing down of their events. Memories may be short but it is not easy to forget what used to happen before the Noise Abatement Act was passed.

Some promoters and their patrons did not seem to believe that it was possible to have their events without turning up their sound systems to impossible decibels, with no regard for hard-working people needing their sleep, senior citizens, the sick or students trying to study.

This state of affairs continued for years. The feeble attempt by the police to get promoters to turn down the sound were mostly ignored or scoffed at. Those who complied, after complaints to the police, simply resumed once the cops had left the venue.

We hope that the rights of law-abiding citizens to a peaceful rest were not negotiated away at Thursday's meeting. The Wild West state of play cannot be allowed to return. We completely agree with the sentiment expressed by two of our readers who were among those concerned that promoters may have been promised a free-for-all.

“Let the law stands as it currently exists. This is what is mashing up Jamaica. Most of these so-called promoters don't pay taxes!

Half the country is going deaf (so) that way, everybody can 'eat a food',” said one.

“These are some of the fundamental problems that have wronged this society and the general public at large for so long. We want too much freedom, which will eventually lead us into mayhem, chaos and public disorder from this noise nuisance and 'eat a food' mentality.”


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