With the Christmas season a mere three weeks away, the Royal Barbados Police Force is wasting no time in cleaning up The City.
The morning, officers conducted an operation to rid the streets of illegal vendors.
Senior Superintendent Lila Boyce of the Bridgetown Division described the operation as “successful”. Speaking with Barbados TODAY this evening via telephone, she said the operation, which lasted an estimated five hours, concentrated on the Swan Street and High Street area.
The reason for the operation, Boyce said, was because of the recent trend they witnessed of people taking clothing racks and exhibiting their goods on the streets of The City.
As a result of that, she added, some store owners took racks from their stores onto the streets as well, for competitive reasons, causing sidewalks to be blocked.
“As well as creating an ugly sight, that trend posed a danger… As you can appreciate, at Christmas time the streets are very, very tight. We have Christmas coming up and if we don’t nip it in the bud it will grow and create a serious challenge for us because these same clothes racks could be used to hide people or to be obstacles for policemen when carrying out our duties,” she said.
“When people see it and it goes unchallenged, everybody is adding, adding … everybody will come and try a thing. We can’t jump at everything at every time but we thought that now was the time to deal with it.
“There are laws governing vending in The City and you have to have a permit and it has specifications and the racks are not included in the specifications. If we didn’t do something, by Christmas you won’t be able to come to town to shop.”
Today more than 10 people were removed for vending illegally, but they were no arrests. All of the people who were removed either did not have permits or were merchants who had permits but not for the area they were plying their trade, Boyce explained.
Boyce said there was some shifting of merchandise, but overall vendors were very compliant.
Meanwhile, police have also served notice that they intend to crackdown on the sale of bootleg DVD’s, which are now openly displayed for sale in areas such as Swan Street. (KC)