Vendors in cat-and-mouse game with cops

July 11, 2017
In this file photo, vendors expose goods for sale in downtown Kingston.

Some vendors who sell along some of the streets of the busy commercial area of downtown Kingston say they have been engaged in a game of cat and mouse with the police and metropolitan officers.

"Wi deh ya so all the while and nobody neva trouble we fi how long, and all of a sudden dem a run we and tell we say we can't sell deh," a vendor, who sells along a section of Orange Street, said.

"When dem run we offa the street, weh dem a do is send the yute them fi go rob and thief," another explained.

Another vendor told THE STAR that last week Thursday in particular, she, along with other higglers, were forced to quickly grab their belongings to move as quickly as they could out of the sight of the police.

Although some vendors confessed that they know that they should not be selling on the street, they say they are concerned that the increase in foot patrols may affect one of their busiest sale periods, when the back-to-school rush starts.

Town clerk Robert Hill yesterday said he would have to do an investigation before he could speak on the matter.

Meanwhile, head of the Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, said many persons are guilty of selling in no-vending zones.

"They know the designated zones and the police will not trouble them if they are in the zones. What they don't understand is if they are selling in zones that are not vending zones, it helps to create an unsafe environment, making it very difficult for the police to maneuver, and making it very difficult for police to respond and observe persons," Lindsay said.

She said the police have to take action to make the streets safe for pedestrians, the flow of traffic as well as other vendors.

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