Violence stifling business in May Pen market
With two murders in less than a month in May Pen, one inside the market last Friday and one on Grand Market night in December in proximity to the market, vendors are feeling the pinch.
Our news team spoke with a vendor called 'Flowers' who has been in the market for many years.
"A years we use the tarpaulin fi protect from the sun. The police dem cut down the tarpaulin weh day and say dem can't see the criminal dem over here. That still nuh stop man from dead. The police and soldier can't stop it. People jus come and buy goods and leave. We have to deh here to sell dem but we nuh safe," he said.
"Mi fraid. At certain time we gone. We afi leave out early cause we nuh want nothing reach me. Me nuh live here so me just come sell and leave," said an elderly vendor.
Another vendor 'Debbie', said business is being affected as vendors have to leave early. She also had a suggestion for the authorities.
"Hang dem when you catch dem when yuh find who commit the crime. We too light with them, human rights a do this, Jamaicans For Justice; and when you dead you nuh have no rights. Dem too comfortable cause somebody is there to back dem. It too much man. Something rigid have to be done," she said.
Mayor of May Pen Winston Maragh said the parish council is aware of the issues affecting the marketplace and that initiatives are being finalised to curtail crime and violence.
He noted an initiative during the Christmas period where the authorities cleared main street of vending.
"As far as I am concerned, it has reduced the crime and violence," he said.
Maragh told THE STAR that men would loiter by the market area and take photos of shoppers and send to their friends, resulting in robberies especially of seniors.
He said more meetings are being conducted with various stakeholders to arrive at more meaningful initiatives.