Roadside vendors operating on the outskirts of San Fernando were ticketed by officers of the San Fernando Municipal Police yesterday during a crackdown on illegal street vending.
The exercise which started on Thursday saw at least seven vendors receiving tickets for various offences while others were let off with a warning. However, the vendors complained that they were being treated unfairly.
Corn farmer and vendor Rovie Lalsiew who was vending along the Gulf View Link Road, La Romaine from the tray of his pick-up van, said the officers gave him a verbal warning for selling. However, he was fined $1,000 for selling from the tray of his van.
“My father selling on this Link Road 38 years or 37 years since this Link Road open. You could go around any one of these houses here and ask people. We in a COVID situation…This is a very injustice. What do they expect people to do?”
Lalsiew intends to take up the matter with San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello who has allowed street vending along Harris Promenade and High Street.
“I am taking this further, the mayor will have to give we some decision because just as we here, they make a place for people on the promenade.”
The officers are targeting areas on the outskirts of San Fernando, including Marabella and La Romaine under the directive of Snr Supt Cecil Santana, head of Municipal Police (South). Insp Michael Fraser who led the exercise said illegal roadside vending poses a danger to road-users.
He said street vending is only permitted on High Street and near Library Corner in San Fernando on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. “On the outskirts of San Fernando as I told you before it poses a risk because it causes vehicles to be pulling to stopping, some buying from the road, So it is an exercise we trying to clamp down on it totally.”
While he empathizes with their situation, the senior officer said the vendors were breaking the law.
“Some of the offences they are committing is that they cannot sell from a vehicle unless they have authorisation from the Licensing Office unless their vehicle was licensed for that purpose…So my advice is for these persons is to either look for a better area or try and rent a little spot as some persons are looking for spots to rent, but on the roadways where they may be ticketed or they will be arrested. That will be the end result for those who refuse to move.” With the new Demerit System, he said whenever someone is warned their information would be recorded in the system and they would be issued a ticket if they re-offend.