Sylvester: We have failed these people
April 29, 2005

Sylvester: We have failed these people

In response to the apparent abuse and influx of vagrants on the streets of city Kingstown President of the local Human Rights Association, Nicole Sylvester has called for the implementation of an Anti-Social Behaviour Act.

Speaking exclusively to Searchlight on Monday, Sylvester said the use of such an Act could alleviate a number of social ills within the society. {{more}}

“We do have provisions that deal with the issue of loitering and vagrants…but they are not being enforced. I think one of the reasons why it is not being enforced is that when they are taken up by the police their is no place to keep them,” said Sylvester.

The Human Rights head stated that our society stands to lose if this problem is not addressed soon. She said the presence of vagrants on the streets would impact on our tourism and economy. “We cannot sell St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a tourist destination if we see garbage and people who society have failed in some way, on the streets. If you have this, you are giving the wrong message,” Sylvester said.

According to Sylvester the society has failed these individuals. “I think society has failed them, we need to take responsibility for this. Why in a small society we have vagrants on the streets?” she questioned.

She noted the implementation of an Anti-Social Behaviour Act could be one of the remedies to curtail this current problem. Sylvester mentioned that not enforcing the existing laws as they relate to loitering and vagrants will only see more people taking the places on the streets. “We need to look at the stem of the problem. There is need for a more wholistic approach, the police are not trained to deal with these people as their needs are different,” Sylvester said.