Parliamentary Representative of the Roseau Central Constituency, Joseph Isaac has condemned a recent alleged attack on a homeless man in Roseau.
Andy Carbon, known as ‘Push Up’ from Boetica, was reportedly attacked earlier this week outside a restaurant in Roseau when an employee came out with a yellow container filled with hot water and threw it on him, according to eyewitnesses.
“I condemn the action and I think that the police should aggressively investigate and prosecute whoever committed the act,” he told DNO on Friday. “I think the police should take serious action against people, any person treating the vagrants in illegal ways and taking advantage of them. I think also that the police have a responsibility to prosecute anybody who takes that action and any future person who want to take advantage of those vagrants.”
Isaac said he is also appalled at the action taken by the individual and is not pleased with the way vagrants are being treated in Dominica.
He pointed out that during the 2014 general election, his United Workers Party (UWP) spoke of a number of plans to address the issue of vagrancy in Roseau, one of which was the building of a proper facility for rehabilitation.
“After they are rehabilitated the next step would be to seek opportunities for them,” he explained.
The police have confirmed that they are investigating the matter and they have a suspect.
The incident involving Carbon has once again thrust into the spotlight the matter of vagrants, commonly known as ‘paros’ in Dominica, especially in the capital of Roseau.
They are said to be a nuisance to tourists who come to Dominica and a reason given for the island receiving low ratings by visitors, according to reports.
The authorities have been discussing the issue for years now and it appears that a conclusive solution has not been reached.
In November 2013, then Tourism Minister, Ian Douglas, admitted that he was unsure how the matter is going to be resolved.
He threw it at the feet of the Ministry of Health, which he said is ultimately responsible for dealing with it.
Earlier this year Health Minister, Kenneth Darroux said the matter would be taken to cabinet for consideration since it was having a negative impact on, “our visitors especially those from the cruise ships.”
In July 2015, Tourism Minister, Senator Robert Tonge, said that Government has put a plan in place to address the vagrancy issue with a day and night care facility.
He mentioned also that as part of the plan, the Psychology Unit will pick up high-risk persons every day and take them to what he described as an “occupational health center.” No updates have been given on that plan.
Last year Director of Tourism, Colin Piper, described the vagrancy issue as a “negative impediment” on the tourism industry.