2954025
Police officers speak to a vendor at the corner of Charlotte and Queen Janelle Penny Commissiong Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Queen Janelle Penny Comissiong Street, Port-of-Spain, vendors are once again appealing for a pardon from the authorities and for a chance to sell their goods on the streets without being hassled.

The vendors made the appeal during a protest to highlight alleged police harassment yesterday.

The vendors claimed that in recent weeks they have been targeted by police officers who have been seizing their goods and ticketing them for illegal vending.

According to vendor David Nedd, COVID-19 had dealt a major blow to their trade for the year and the police’s seemingly unfair treatment towards them has worsened their ability to earn a living.

“We want to sell. We have children to mind, we have families to feed, so at the end of the day, what we are saying, give us the chance, we have a few more days for Christmas, let us come outside here and sell.”

For years, street vendors have been operating without a designated space, with police cracking down on their activity. Last year, vendors registered to sell hassle-free on the streets but similar arrangements have not been made this year.

One vendor called on the Prime Minister to intervene and resolve their woes once and for all.

“It is ungodly, you need to take an immediate stand into what is taking place here and allow the vendors to sell, allow people to take care of their children. We serious, we stand here this morning and they got to take some kind of stand.”

Efforts to contact Port-of-Spain mayor Joel Martinez for a response to the claims made by the vendors yesterday were unsuccessful as he did not answer his cellphone.