The Royal Barbados Police Force has demonstrated that it meant business when it warned that illegal vending would not be allowed in The City.
Police today rounded up a number of vendors believed to be plying their trade without permission, and took them in to Central Police Station for questioning.
Just last week, police swooped down on illegal vendors operating on the Duncan O’Neal Bridge and St Michael’s Row, forcing those who did not have valid permits to move.
Almost two dozen uniformed officers were involved in today’s operation in St Michael’s Row, Harwood Alley, Bridge Street, Fairchild Street and Marhill Street, once again, asking vendors to show their permits.
One of the officers in charge of the operation, who only gave his name as Sargeant Lynch, told Barbados TODAY while some of the vendors had permits, they were vending outside the permitted areas.
Of the estimated 12 vendors who were checked, three did not have valid permits and were taken to Central Police Station for questioning, but were not arrested, Lynch said.
He explained that the vendors were warned of intended prosecution for selling marketable commodities without a valid permit before they were released.
The police officer said produce that had been confiscated would be returned to the owners upon completion of the investigations.
Lynch denied that vendors in those areas were being unfairly targeted, noting that lawmen were simply going after those who did not have valid permits.
However, some vendors were unhappy with the police operation, with one, Frank Gibson, complaining to Barbados TODAY that he had applied for a permit on numerous occasions but had been denied each time.
Gibson, who was selling on the Bridge, said he made the applications upon being released from prison where he had spent 12 years on remand, because all he wanted was to make an honest dollar.
“Tell me how I should feel. Them got some men that would look to steal or rob because you ain’t got nothing in the house to eat, and you only thing that you have for
self-employment, them take it away from you. I can’t survive so; and everyday people getting laid off,” Gibson said, adding that he did not blame the police for doing their job.
“Issue we a temporary permit so when the police come we don’t have to pack up and run. Let everybody live,” he said.