Stop illegal seizures McKenzie tells police
Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
The Opposition spokesman on Local Government, Desmond McKenzie, is demanding that Police High Command urgently implement recommendations on the keep and care of goods seized from vendors.
In a special report, the acting public defender, Matondo Mukulu, yesterday reported that his probe has found, among other things, that the police have been illegally seizing the goods of vendors and handing over the items to state entities.
Mukulu had launched the investigation following complaints by vendors in downtown, Kingston.
He says he found instances where the police gave to the Poor Relief Department of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation as well as children's homes, perishable items, they had seized from vendors.
According to the Acting Public Defender, while the intention is good, the law must be observed.
He says the law only allows goods to be forfeited after a third conviction of illegal vending.
However, the acting public defender says the police have not observing the law.
He stresses that the practice is not illegal but also infringes on the right to property on individuals.
According to McKenzie, who is a former mayor of Kingston, a framework was established between the KSAC and the Police on the seizure and storage of perishable goods.
He says it appears that the police are ignoring the protocol.
The acting public defender has recommended that, within two month, the Jamaica Constabulary Force must implement clear guidelines on their seizure and disposal of perishable goods.
He has also recommended, among other things, that a modern facilities be constructed to store seized goods and that Jamaica's outdated vending laws be modernised.
Meanwhile, McKenzie is calling for the local government authorities to provide more spaces for vending.
He says the lack of space has been contributing to vendors selling in no vending zones.
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