BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts - THE Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force is warning promoters and bar owners that they have to abide by the regulations when it comes to the capacity for their venues.
This comes as the Police Force is reminding that it is the owners and also the promoters who would be liable for any injury or death that might result from hosting an event beyond the capacity of the said space.
The warning came from Superintendent Cromwell Henry at a time when the COVID-19 Task Force and the Government agreed to lift major restrictions on fetes and social activities within the Federation.
“Having people in your establishment is a good thing; however, things can quickly change and get out of hand. An overcrowded building can lead to civil or criminal liability. Some of the basic risks can become more of a threat as the attendance increases,” noted Henry.
This has been seen over the last several years as many persons had sustained injuries during stampedes at both indoor and outdoor concerts.
Henry reminded that injuries could result from the lack of enough space, the inability to control crowds, fire hazards, property damage and maintaining proper hygiene during the time of COVID-19.
This issue was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year when the Police Force had urged all promoters to provide measurements of the venues for their events and to practice social distancing.
In addition, as promoters sought approval for their events, they were forced to gain approval from the Fire and Rescue Service in order to mitigate against potential hazards resulting from overcrowding.
“While businesses can have insurance to mitigate against some of these risks, there are also costs that business owners are personally liable for because of their responsibilities,” Henry noted. “When situations can be avoided, claims can be denied or accepted with reduced payout.”
Against that backdrop, he revealed that the police are concerned with the current situation, specifically with parties at small indoor venues with one entry and exit point.
“Therefore, our approval processes and enforcement efforts are intent on mitigating these risks in the interest of public safety.,” added Henry.
Even though some of the regulations have been lifted for the resumption of social activities, the Superintendent reminded that when it comes to fetes and parties being held indoors, name takes and other measures will remain in place for the safety of all.