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... as crowd swells police close gates

Published:Monday | September 19, 2011 | 12:00 AM
A policeman searches a man before allowing him to enter the National Arena yesterday.

The police were forced to close the gates of the National Arena yesterday leaving scores of People's National Party (PNP) supporters outside as the public session of the party's 73rd annual conference reached fever pitch.

According to the police, allowing more persons into the National Arena was not practical.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Jervis Taylor told The Gleaner that the decision to close the gates was made at 11:45 a.m.

"We took a decision after consultation with the leadership of the PNP that the arena was going to be closed as the capacity of the arena was just about accomplished," Taylor said.

He told The Gleaner that the capacity of the National Arena was about 8,000.

"As of now, we are satisfied that putting anybody else inside there would endanger the lives of people and the lives of people is the most important things to us. I can't say how many people are outside but more people are out there than are in here," Taylor said.

Fuming comrades on the outside complained that the time had come to find a bigger venue.

"Dem need to carry it go ova di stadium or somewhere because Jamaica a PNP country," one woman said.