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Chief Constable Gail George said, in a statement, that the recent removal of illegal structures and vendors was not intended to be confrontational but with a view to upholding the municipal by-laws which prohibits anyone from unlawfully selling on Council's reserves, streets, parapets and pavements.
She recalled that, in 1994, when the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) took the initiative to regularise such operations along Regent Street, a proposal was made to the sellers for relocation to Merriman's Mall.
They had agreed and the Council expended about $12M to prepare the facility but, during a period of subsequent negotiations, they sought recourse through the Court by way of injunction and that prevented the authorities from organising vending in the capital.
In 2000, the Court dismissed a request for a stay of execution sought by the Regent Street vendors and discharged the injunction which stopped the City Council from removing them off Regent Street.
George said, in keeping with the by-laws, the law enforcement arm of the municipality took action and removed all encumbrances along Regent Street, with many ranks and officers being verbally and physically abused in the process.
The Chief Constable is appealing to all Regent Street owners to desist from the practice of allowing vendors to hang or display items for sale in front of their stores.
She said failure to comply with the appeal could result in both vendors and storeowners being prosecuted.
George reiterated that the approach is not one of confrontation, but simply seeks to maintain law and order in the city.