The President of the Saint Lucia Vendors Association, Peter Isaac, has echoed concerns voiced by the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, about the number of vagrants in the City.
Isaac told the Times that his concerns relate not only to the presence of the vagrants, but how they approach people in the capital.
The Vendors Association President disclosed that the vagrants harass locals and visitors.
Isaac told the Times that they follow people around, creating a certain level of fear.
“They being around and so many of them at that really is a problem,” he asserted, adding that something needs to be done about the problem.
Isaac observed that already, Castries, in terms of aesthetics and ambiance, is not the nicest City in the Caribbean these days.
He said that vagrants make the capital more unsightly.
Isaac expressed the view that relatives of the vagrants need to be made to take responsibility for them.
“The vagrants are unkempt and oftentimes they have some serious odors emanating from them – sometimes you don’t even have to be close to them to know that they are around,” he asserted.
Isaac told the Times that the authorities should contact the families of the vagrants to find out what is being done to assist in getting them off the streets or cleaned up.
He suggested that there could be some kind of home for the vagrants, some of whom he observed were mentally sound, while others are not.
“I think the Mental Wellness Centre and the families and other agencies need to get the relatives involved in trying to get these people off the streets,” Isaac told the Times.
Just this week the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce disclosed that it held a meeting with representatives of a number of other players, including the police, to discuss the problem of vagrancy and mendicancy.
The meeting came against the backdrop of complaints from businesses in and out of the capital, that vagrants and beggars were creating problems for customers.