Editorial: Street vendors

POSTED: 01/18/13 2:09 PM

Street vendors without a permit to peddle their hats, bags and beach dresses on the Boardwalk without a permit have nothing to fear from the justice system for the time being. Of the five permit-less vendors that were summoned to court yesterday just one turned up. Several others turned out not to live at the address they had given to the police.

The lady who did show up has a stand at the tourist market but because business was not exactly booming there in December, she took her wares to the Boardwalk where a control unit put a stop to her activities.
While her goods were confiscated, the vendor will not be impressed by the punishment the court handed down: a 100 guilders (close to $56) conditional fine and 2 years of probation.

Peddling stuff to tourists does not rank among the most serious of crimes, and one could even argue that these vendors are part of the island’s colorful tourist product. But there is also the element of harassment and the element of unfair competition to established retailers. The sentence the court handed down yesterday will not exactly function as a deterrent for other vendors, so to stamp out the practice, the control units must find a different solution..

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