Vendors told they are trespassing, ordered to leave
THREE OFFICERS OF the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (left) speaking with vendors outside Massy Stores on Thursday
Front Page
September 1, 2023

Vendors told they are trespassing, ordered to leave

Six fruit and vegetable vendors who ply their trade outside Massy Stores at Arnos Vale were yesterday told by police to cease operations immediately and vacate the premises.

A source who asked not to be identified told SEARCHLIGHT that complaints were made to police early Thursday morning, following which police met with the building’s owner, then informed the vendors of the situation.

The police officers are said to have told the vendors that they were trespassing on private property, and the owners did not want them there.

When officials of Massy Stores were contacted, an official stated emphatically that his company had nothing to do with the police action.

“The request to remove the vendors did not come from Massy, and Massy has nothing to do with that. We have been co-existing with the vendors for quite a while, so what happens out there is not from us,” the official said.

SEARCHLIGHT’s source revealed that the landlord is allegedly “at his wits end” with the situation and wants to enhance the environment in which his tenants operate.

The “situation” referred to apparently includes littering, playing of loud music, alleged drug trafficking, and general behaviour which is not conducive to a good business environment.

Efforts on Thursday to contact the owner of the building or his representatives proved futile.

One vendor told SEARCHLIGHT he had no choice but to move from place to place to sell his goods, while another said he would be seeking legal advice.

Yesterday’s action by the police comes a little over a year since the area was cleared of all vendors after years of notices from the Physical Planning and Development Board to vacate or risk having them demolished.

In the wee hours of June 6, 2022, stalls were demolished and goods seized. Since 2022, a few vendors had returned to the area and the numbers were increasing.