A wide-ranging crackdown was announced today by Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, on a number of offences in the capital.
Francis said in addition to urinating and defecating in public, the wide-ranging crackdown will also target loitering, indecent exposure, walking bare back, illegal parking and carrying uncovered debris in trucks.
The Mayor also announced that action will be taken against cement trucks that dump cement on the streets and vans which haul lumber and other materials without displaying red flags.
“Over the past years and for some decades now, disgusting traditions and practices have hurt the aesthetics of our City and have given rise to some public health concerns,” Francis declared as he addressed a news conference Monday.
He said members of the public have transformed lamp poles, the back of buildings, around the CDC apartments, the vegetation in the City and bus stops into public toilets.
“Those areas serve as stopping points to relieve oneself, while members of the public and visitors to the City are subjected to appalling and repugnant odours,” Francis told the news conference.
He recalled that when he and City Councilors were sworn in, Local Government Minister, Fortuna Belrose, spoke openly about the problem, only to be heavily criticized.
However the Mayor asserted that it cannot be denied that Castries has become a pit-stop which is perhaps the largest in the Eastern Caribbean.
He said the City Police Department will be in the forefront of the new crackdown.
“Effective immediately, you will be charged and made to pay if found urinating, defecating, littering and spitting in streets, building corners or anywhere in the City,” Francis stated.
He explained that there are ‘comfort stations’ in the City.
The Mayor acknowledged that these facilities are limited but revealed that very soon more facilities will be built.
Francis explained that persons who transgress the laws will be charged from $EC150.00 up to EC$1500.00 and in some cases where the law dictates, will face up to 6 months in prison.
“This is our City, let us protest it, invest in it and respect it,” he said.