Municipal police officers swooped down on vendors selling their goods along the sidewalk in Sangre Grande yesterday. Vendors were asked by the police to remove their goods or have it confiscated.
Some vendors hurriedly packed their goods and removed their stalls to avoid their goods being confiscated, while others gave the police stiff opposition. As a result, one vendor had some of her goods confiscated.
Upset shoppers and members of the public accused the police of taking advantage of the vendors who are struggling to make an honest living.
Vendors said the police actions are not fair to them since it is only on weekends they "make a little hustle to survive".
Joanne Fitz and her brother Derry Fitz Andrews said they are being targeted by the police for vending in the driveway of their private property and not causing any obstruction. However, they were told to provide a deed of ownership for the land.
They said they did not receive any correspondence from the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation or Municipal police informing them that they should stop selling in front of their driveway
They intent to take the Municipal police to court and have provided the necessary information to their attorney.
When Guardian Media contacted Inp Sawak Baran, head of the Sangre Grande Municipal police for comment, he said the law was for all and not one person.
"Officers had informed and warned the Andrews about erecting a tent and the vending of goods, but got resistance from them and were forced to lay charges, which included selling a 100-miles radius from market, selling without approved licence from the corporation, obstructing the free passageway and resisting arrest. This was last week Saturday, May 18 and this Saturday, May 25, they will be slapped with the same charges via summons."
When Guardian Media tried to contact Terry Rondon, chairman of Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, his cell phone went to voice mail.
- by Ralph Banwarie