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Vendors take over sidewalk in May Pen

Published:Tuesday | June 9, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels

Following the recent clampdown on illegal vending by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, there has been an influx of displaced vendors from the Corporate Area into the town of May Pen in Clarendon.

This increase in the number of vendors in the parish capital has caused the town centre to be in a constant state of chaos. Access to legitimate business establishments has been restricted. And pedestrians, including children, the physically challenged and the elderly, are forced to use the roadways, as the sidewalks have been completely overtaken by the vendors. The result is a serious safety hazard and traffic pile-up along Main Street.

Chairman of the Clarendon Parish Council, Scean Barns-well, described the problem as chronic, saying it has been a major issue for successive administrations.

"I blame the merger of the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) and the ISCF (Island Special Constabulary Force), as members of the ISCF used to assist the municipal officers in carrying out patrols. But since the merger, the support has declined considerably. As a result, we have less persons being taken to court to get them to comply with the law," said Barnswell.

He suggested that fines for vendors found in breach be increased because the present fine is $5,000 maximum.

"I have now written to the Police High Command in charge of Area Three, requesting support from the police to assist the council's municipal officers to carry out a one-month operation in the town to rid the street of the illegal vendors," he said.