Vendors in the Castries market have called on the authorities to do something about almost daily attacks on tourists, saying that the incidents are hurting their business.
“I fed up because I am not making any money,” Vendor, Roselyn Charles, told the Times, following the latest reported incident today of a Cruise Ship visitor’s chain being snatched on Jeremie Street.
According to Charles, every day tourists are being targeted by young criminals.
She recalled remarking just yesterday that no tourists appeared to be patronizing the vendors in the Castries market, and was told that Cruise Ships that call at Port Castries are telling their passengers that it would be best not to disembark, for fear of crime.
“Sometimes we have to tell the tourists to hide their chains, and that is very embarrassing,” Charles lamented.
Her colleague, Romenia Ferguson, who told the Times she has been a vendor in the Castries market for some thirty-five years, agreed, telling the Times that vendors have to protect the tourists.
“We have to tell them don’t use certain roads,” Ferguson asserted, adding that she herself has stopped wearing jewelry.
The President of the Vendors Association, Peter Isaac, told the Times that last Tuesday there were four muggings around the Capital.
“I did not speak because by the time you talk you seem to be offending somebody,” Isaac declared, an obvious reference to criticism he received from Tourism officials for suggesting that visitor crime may result in Cruise Ship boycotts.
Nevertheless he called on the authorities to do something urgently and increase the presence of law enforcement officers in the City’s crime hot spots.
Despite the vendors’ concerns, visitors Stephen and Amy Malcolm of Scotland, who disclosed that they are staying at Capella Resorts, told the Times that they felt quite safe in the City.
“We have nothing but nice things to say,” the couple, who revealed that a Driver has been taking them around the City for the past three days, said.
“I think a lot of times it is up to you to be wary of where you are,” Stephen Malcolm added.
Referring to news of the latest mugging of a tourist, Malcolm said it could happen anywhere in the world.
“That’s part of life now, unfortunately,” he remarked.