PERSONS found urinating, defecating, spiting and littering in the City of Castries could soon find themselves paying fines of $150 and $1500 or where the law dictates spend up to six months in prison.
City mayor Peterson Francis said that the crackdown on anti-social behaviour will be immediate and will be carried out by the officers of the Castries City Constabulary.
“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. Members of the public have transformed lamp-poles, the back of buildings, around the CDC apartments, the vegetation in city and bus-stops into public toilets,” Francis said.
According to Francis enforcing the sections of the Litter Act and the Criminal Code that speaks to the problems outlined will be one of the toughest battles he will encounter in his drive to improve the city’s aesthetics, its standards and beauty.
“You cannot walk through the city without seeing persons relieving themselves. If not the odour quite evidently points to the problem,” Francis said.
He claimed that visitors to the city are subjected to appalling and repugnant smells and that one cannot walk through Castries without seeing persons relieving themselves.
“The City of Castries has become a pit-stop, and just maybe the largest in the Eastern Caribbean,” Francis said. He called on the public to stand with him in repelling such practices and in sending out an equivocal message that the streets and City of Castries need to be treated with respect.
“Effective immediately you will be charged and made to pay if found urinating, defecating, littering and spitting in the streets, building corners or anywhere in the city,” he warned.
The Mayor further called on persons in need of a comfort station while in the city to use those that are available, roughly a dozen of them located within the commercial sector of the city.
“I know the facilities are limited but very soon we will be building a few more comfort stations around the city,” he said.
The Mayor took the opportunity to go after people loitering in the city and those exposing themselves indecently by stating that his office will be enforcing laws that speak to those things along with enforcing edicts that speak to walking in the city bare-back, trucks carrying goods uncovered especially those carrying debris to the dump, cement trucks which dump cement on the streets while being transported, vans hauling lumber and other materials without red flags at the end, etc.
The offences will be charged under the Litter Act Chapter 6.05 of the Revised Laws of St. Lucia 2008 and the Criminal Code Chapter 3.01 of the Revised Laws of St. Lucia 2013.
The mayor’s pronouncements were made at a press conference yesterday. Supporting him was his deputy, Anselma Calderon who admitted that while government has a role to play in educating the people about anti-social behaviour and the need to keep the country clean, the reality is that citizens are also to be blamed.
“Rather than throwing litter and trash all over the place everyone needs to take that extra step and place it (trash) into a garbage container where it can be disposed of properly. If there is no container then install (one) or take your litter to a location where there is one,” Calderon said.
According to Calderon one of the aims of the Castries Constituencies Council is to make Saint Lucia the most attractive island in the region.
“This is where we begin. The campaign is an immediate one. We will be writing to our bus drivers, our taxi drivers, and other critical stake holders so they could update their members and clients to assist us in this campaign. We believe that the full enforcement of the law will control and correct some of the unsavoury practices that have harmed the aesthetics of our city and in some instances may have serious health implications for all of us,” Calderon said.