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City merchants upset over no ease in wrecking
President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud said yesterday businesses in Port-of-Spain were suffering at the hands of merciless wreckers. He made the comment in response to the police association’s announcement yesterday that officers would not let up on the wrecking for the Christmas period.
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian, Aboud said Port-of-Spain continued to be deprived of parking. He added it was sad the Police Service was not willing to give them a reprieve, adding businessmen were frustrated by that.
Speaking to members of the media at the weekly police press briefing yesterday, public information officer, acting inspector Wayne Mystar, said the wrecking of vehicles would continue because a park-and-ride system had been established to facilitate shoppers. He called on motorists to observe the parking rules of the city. But Aboud said while politicians were “running around issuing hampers,” the city was being choked to death by the removal of more and more parking.
“While we sincerely appreciate the park-and-ride initiative, it has not been able to replace much needed parking facilities and strong dissatisfaction is circulating among the large and small businessmen,” Aboud said. He said over a dozen representations were made to varying levels of government to rectify the problem, yet the “terror” of wrecking persists. He said the only law that seemed to be enforced in the city was the parking law, adding there were times when cars were wrecked and their spots seized by a street vendor.
“Businesspeople are not surprised by remarks of Wayne Mystar. We have become accustomed to having our request denied while all others invoke their request as is Christmas season,” Aboud said. During the press briefing, Mystar also sought to assure citizens shopping in the capital and other shopping zones for the Christmas season would be safe, as police officers would be out in their numbers patrolling shopping areas.
He highlighted the “Safe City” initiative launched by the Port-of-Spain Division last month, which he said was still in effect. Mystar also warned that motorists should keep valuables out of the sight of possible thieves. He added that homeowners should also be weary of anyone seeking to offer assistance at this time as that may be a lure to gain access to their homes. Scaffolding should also not be left near homes, he said, as that may be used by thieves to gain entry.
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