Police urge vendors not to abuse Christmas privileges

December 23, 2016
File Beckford Street was filled with shoppers and vendors on a recent STAR visit to downtown Kingston.
File A policeman carries a box with ground produce that were seized from a vendors selling in the no-vending area in downtown Kingston.

As Christmas draws closer, vendors in towns across the island have converted some parts of the streets into informal market places to ply their wares. However, the police are asking such persons to desist from this practice so that the force's limited resources can be focused elsewhere.

"We want to concentrate on providing security for the shoppers and the vendors so as to prevent robbery and stealing. But it is very difficult when you have to be stretching the resources to be chasing persons off no vending areas," Head of the Constabulary Communications Unit, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay said.

"I think a large part of it is the indiscipline among the individuals who just believe that they should be selling on the streets, and that they should set up stalls on the pavement and the sidewalks where persons are supposed to be walking freely," she said.

Lindsay noted that there will be enough room for all the vendors who plan to ply their wares this Christmas, as they will be granted special privileges to sell in certain areas that would not normally be designated for such. However, she noted that some areas will remain as strictly no-vending areas primarily for safety reasons.

As soon as those areas are decided upon, Lindsay said this will be communicated to the vendors.

"We want the vendors to go out and capitalise on the season because we know it's their way of life, but it makes no sense to say that because you're 'hustling', you should do so at the expense of the law," Lindsay said.

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