City evicts vendors from Demico House pavement

The pavement on the western side of the Demico House as of yesterday (Keno George photo)

Sellers of cellphone accessories and other vendors were on Tuesday removed from the pavement on the western side of Demico House at the Stabroek Market Square, with the Mayor and City Council justifying their actions by explaining that criminal activities in the area have been on the increase.

At last Monday’s statutory meeting, Town Clerk Royston King informed the council that the vendors would be removed. He made reference to a statutory meeting in August where Councillors had highlighted that vendors were taking up space on the pavement. Councillor Carlye Goring during that meeting had said that persons were involved in gambling activities there and questioned why the City Constabulary was not doing anything about it.

Mayor Patrica Chase-Green added that the Management of Demico had written to her office, expressing concerns about safety and requesting that the vendors be removed.

During a massive cleanup last year April, vendors from under Demico House and the Stabroek Market Square were removed, but some slowly returned to their spots under Demico House.

City spokeswoman Debra Lewis said that the vendors at this juncture would have to find their own vending spaces, indicating that the council has not identified an area. Persons who do not have a place to sell can contact the Town Clerk’s Office, she added.

According to Laurel Gittens, an Inspector at the City Constabulary, in an effort to reduce the crime rate in the area, an officer from the constabulary would patrol the area frequently, and security in the area will be beefed up during the Christmas season. She explained that they would not be able to station ranks permanently at Demico House.

One beverage seller on the northern side of Demico House welcomed the move by the council. He said that on weekends the area is heavily crowded and it becomes a haven for criminals. “You know how much times things happen right in front of me here to people, and I can’t do nothing because they have guns and knives they pull out as soon somebody try to help?” the vendor questioned. He noted that the council’s move should minimise the number of robberies which take place on the pavement.

In addition, Gittens said they also removed a caravan from Camp Street between Robb Street and North Road. The inspector said that the owner of the caravan had taken up space on the reserve without permission from the council. A fruit vendor, who Gittens said was hindering the flow of traffic in the area, was also removed from the corner of Robb and Camp streets.