Street vendors banished

National, Normal

MT HAGEN’s infamous street vendors have gone into hiding following a massive police and city authority crackdown.
“The street vendors know where they are supposed to sell their products after the informal sector law came into effect five years ago.
“But they had refused to trade at the designated areas, and continue to cause obstruction and inconvenience to the public on the foot paths.
“Many also got involved in petty crime. That is why we are going after them now,” Mt Hagen metropolitan commander Chief Insp Peter Roari said.
He said the crackdown has helped reduced petty crimes including bag snatching and pick-pocketing since early this year.
“Police will continue to help the city authority in the drive to keep the city clean and tidy.
“We are also monitoring the banks while parents queue up to pay their children’s school fees,” he said.
He said police were patrolling the city in cars and on foot and warned thieves and those who misbehaved in public that they would be severely dealt with.
Acting city manager Victor Megao said he was impressed with the cleanliness of the city and urged the people to refrain from littering.
Mr Megao said that litterbugs would be fined K50 on the spot if they were caught by enforcement officers. “We hope the street vendors will not return.”