PHILIPSBURG--The police were kept busy during the Carnival Jouvert Jump-Up on Monday morning when officers responded to several scuffles along the route.
Police spokesperson Inspector Ricardo Hendon told The Daily Herald shortly after the Jump-Up ended that there had been several fights along the Jouvert route, two of which he said had been "big."
In one of the incidents a woman was knocked unconscious and had to be transported to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for medical attention. At least three young teens also had to be transported to SMMC after overindulging and becoming highly intoxicated, about which the police had warned prior to Jouvert.
This newspaper witnessed at least two other scuffles in the Carnival Village after the Jump-Up had ended. At least one young man received injuries to his face and another was detained after the parade ended.
Henson could not say definitively how many persons had been detained because of Jouvert-related incidents. Despite the incidents, Henson said the police with the assistance of the Voluntary Corps St. Maarten VKS had had a good grip on the situation and had managed to maintain law and order.
A scene at Monday’s Jouvert Jump-Up.
Henson said the Jump-Up had started late because some of the bands had not been ready and some of the band trucks had not been checked by the Traffic Department. The event was scheduled to start at 4:00am, but the procession took off several minutes later.
"This was resolved real quickly and it started off with a number of bands and deejays." Henson said that while the parade had been huge, it had not been as large as last year's procession.
"There were thousands of people here and those who came just for this Jouvert. It was a little smaller than last year and the number of persons was a bit less, but it was very hectic for us, but we [did what we had to – Ed.] do to ensure that we provide the necessary safety and protection for people.
"We did our best to reach to the Village on time and to guide revellers out of the area so no one could have gotten injured," Henson said. "In certain areas, there needs to be some improvement and we will do so."
He thanked his colleagues in the Police Force as well as VKS officers for going out to help maintain law and order at the Jump-Up.
"They are so loyal and they know their responsibilities and it showed that with limited resources they can achieve a lot. I think we did a great job and we are satisfied with that and we look forward to protecting people who come to the island to have a safe Carnival," he said.
A section of the sizeable crowd that jammed in the Carnival Jouvert Jump-Up on Monday morning.
Approximately 80 law enforcement officers were out helping to maintain law and order for Jouvert, Henson noted.