Police fed up of street vending in Port Maria

November 01, 2016
Dwight Powell
Vendors in Port Maria Market in St Mary complain that shoppers prefer to buy goods on the street because the market is in such poor condition.

St Mary's police chief, Deputy Superintendent Dwight Powell, is frustrated and fed up with vendors who refuse to utilise Port Maria Market, choosing instead to sell their goods on the streets of the parish capital.

Powell said the traders are causing traffic congestion, among other ills.

"The market is the place designated for vending in the parish of St Mary. The story that the market is in a deplorable state is unacceptable, because at least it provides some coverage and somewhere for them to sell their goods. There's nothing like that on the streets," Powell said.

"It is very ugly when the vendors have to come out on to the street, and we're having some unhealthy situations in Port Maria, especially with the fish vendors," Powell continued.

"I'm told that instead of going to the fish market, they are scaling and gutting fish in the street, which I believe shows a total lack of civic pride. I would not sanction them being anywhere outside of the fish market, even though the market is in a deplorable condition.

"From a policing perspective, we are trying our best to move the vendors from the street and into the market. We are in partnership with the parish council, who are responsible for the market, and I know they are making efforts to correct its defects.

"But one of the things the parish council does is to permit a few persons to operate with dry goods on the street. That situation is unhealthy because we all know the Jamaican saying: 'Give an inch, and you take a mile'.

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