False Start!!

Promoters of after Champs parties may lose millions after the St Andrew Central police declared they would not be granting any permits for these events.

Puma’s ‘Finish Line’ and ‘Up to the Line’ are two major events for which permits have been denied. The police believe that violent clashes are likely to erupt among students at these events as this has happened over the years.

When contacted, Deputy Superintendent McArthur Sutherland, officer in charge of crime at the St Andrew Central Division, could not confirm which parties were banned, and if any had been given the go ahead. He also said the officers would be out in full force on Saturday night.

Proactive dealings

He told THE STAR: “I’ll be going out there on Saturday night. We’ll be on the street from very early, so as to prevent anything from starting, much more to get under way in the night. If no permission is given, they will have to desist.

“We are going to deal with it proactively, rather than going there when the dance is full, which could cause a hostile reaction.”

Promoter for Up To The Line, Michael Powell, says he did not know the permit he applied for a month ago had been denied until Monday afternoon when he went to the division.

He said millions of dollars had been invested in the event and he had commitments to his sponsors. However, he is still optimistic about hosting the event.

“I have been in dialogue with the division and I will be there for a meeting tomorrow,” said Powell.

Though not sure of the full reason for the denial, Powell says he believes the police’s concern is security. He says he is also concerned about it and has put in place several measures to ensure the safety of his patrons.

Issue of location

He believes that the location should not be an issue as it will be held at the Limelight Club in Half-Way-Tree, which is not a residential area.

Powell plans to appeal to the commissioner of police but if that fails, he will be heading to court.

In the case of Maurice Williams who promotes Puma’s Finish Line, he found out about the denial only last Thursday. He says he has already contacted the commissioner’s office and is waiting for a response.

“If they have something like this planned, why wait until the week of the event to do this?” questioned Williams.

Williams says it is unfair that their requests have been denied, as other events in areas covered by the St Andrew Central Division have been given permission.

When THE STAR contacted entertainment lawyer Ronald Young yesterday, he advised that the promoters try to have a meeting with the police as it is not too late.

“If they have put on these events and have a reputation for being incident free they should get in dialogue with the police,” said Young.

Source: JamaicaStar