Vagrancy continues to be a headache for tourism industry

A vagrant searches for something in a drain in Roseau
A vagrant searches for something in a drain in Roseau

The long-standing issue of vagrancy in Roseau is well established as being a “negative impediment” to the tourism industry and Dominicans alike, according to Director of Tourism, Colin Piper.

In fact, Piper said, his department is already having meetings with relevant authorities to further address that issue.

“I think the issue of vagrancy is well established as being a negative impediment to the tourism industry not only for our visitors but it’s also an issue for us locals,” Piper said. “We are in fact having meetings, certain people have signed up for responsibilities and we are now hoping that they come through.”

Piper stated further that the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA), along with other public sector service providers, have tried to put in place “a collective approach” to the matter “but is reliant on the Ministry of Health to help lead us in that regard.”

He said the approach “involves a short-term solution to give vagrants an option to go to a day facility by choice.”

“We all know it is a social issue as well and so these are some of the things we have to consider as part of the whole process,” Piper stated.

Meanwhile, president of the DHTA, Gregor Nassief, said cleanliness, crime, security and vagrancy, among other issues, need to be dealt with in order for the island’s tourism brand to be sustainable.

“For a destination like Dominica things like the cleanliness of the island, issues of crime and security, issues of vagrancy the way that affects the tourists, all of that needs to be dealt with in order for your brand to be sustainable,” Nassief said. “So for example on the vagrancy issue, I personally find that it is heartbreaking that we are going to go into yet another high season with the issue still outstanding. I think we are close to finding a way of managing it and I think we just need to get the right heads around the table to do what we need to do.”

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68 Comments

  1. Anoushah Alie
    November 16, 2014

    Well, address the vagrancy problem! Give them jobs and homes so they won’t have to dig in garbage bins for food!

  2. ATKINSON
    November 16, 2014

    O.k. where is a few ideas to deal with the vagrants . 1. N E P, jobs, jobs, jobs 2 Housing program, free housing 3 China, or cuba, send them there on free scholarships 4 Villa, give them a 5 star villa in the north 5 The red clinic, free food 6 cruise ship, declare them a threat to national security and deport them via carnival cruise 7 Vagrantville, since there are some many vagrants from the last 14 years, let change the capital name from roseau. to Vagrantville, and post a photo and statue of the man in the red shirt :mrgreen:

    • Anonymous
      November 16, 2014

      Now why didn’t Ian think of that, hahahahaha.

  3. Simple
    November 15, 2014

    This is a social problem.

    There should be a social mechanism or institution best suited to Dominica, whether governmental or at the level of the local community or, dare I say it, the family, to prevent or tackle this sight.

  4. NO JUSTICE
    November 14, 2014

    lie that tourist will ever return

  5. NO JUSTICE
    November 14, 2014

    just care for them and giv’em a home….”quote from an official at the old Port of Call restaurant after a tourist ran inside at lunchtime after being assaulted by a vagrant in front of the restaurant.

  6. NO JUSTICE
    November 14, 2014

    Cancun Mexico is safer from the vagrants and crack heads than Roseau

    • Anonymous
      November 16, 2014

      Maybe that explains why more cruise ships go there.

  7. mindi
    November 14, 2014

    why is this being made a political issue? So because you’re not the prime minister you can’t advocate for the poor and work to better the community. everyday is a complain complain complain from the opposition, what have they done to keep up the country? What have they done before their decision to run for election? Bashing the prime minister is not gonna help you. Knowing how much money he has in his swiss account is not gonna help you. What are you doing for your country? What have you invested in your country? Show me what you have done to make the people better. Because labor in power you stop doing the people’s work

  8. UDOHREADYET
    November 14, 2014

    ID cards will solve the vagrant problem. The mayor of Roseau, the minister for public affairs, the police, the health minister should be directly involved in this process, the Vagrant as you want to call them should provide identification to the police (name, address etc. If they have no ID, they can be ticketed, brought to a processing location to be identified and fingerprinted. Without an address the person will and should be committed to a public facility for assistance and rehabilitation. End of story. Dominicans will wait until things are horrible to respond to issues and if they still feel lazy they simply lower their standards of what is acceptable.

    • JoJo
      November 14, 2014

      How do you ticket a man, who has no fixed abode, is mentally unstable or under the influence of drugs. How is he going to pay a fine except by harassing people even more for money. I don’t know the solution but this certainly is not. I would suggest we go and look at other cities that have the same problem, and I believe they all have that, and follow the best example. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

  9. Pittsburgh Dominican
    November 14, 2014

    Until such time the leadership responsible for the tourism sector on DA is held accountable….nothing pertaining such matters will be address appropriately.

  10. Pedro
    November 14, 2014

    Technocrats like Colin have to say the right things to remain relevant. But really vagrancy should not be treated as a tourist problem. I have said so 1000 times,too many times we do not put ourselves first. Vagrancy and societal issues, beautification, sanitation, customer service and a whole litany of what may be viewed as negative issues affecting the tourist markets are really our problems to own and try to resolve from all angles: education, budgeting, prioritization, leadership, stewardship etc. It is for us to get the benefit first and secondarily may the tourists and that industry also benefit. We need to get priorities right for us. We have to hold ourself and our society to higher standards. Lets be an even more proud and proactive people and do things because its right and we deserve these as a modern society of admirable standards not simply because its tourist or visitor driven!

  11. Anonymous
    November 14, 2014

    All major cities in the world has vagrants on the street and these countries are able to help them but are not. So what has Dominica got to offer these vagrants?
    If you want to keep them away from Roseau give them the proper medication that will help them to sleep during the tourist season.

    • bwarpoowee
      November 15, 2014

      Exactly! I mean for all major cities having this issue…

  12. anonymous2
    November 14, 2014

    Theft continues to be a major issue for the whole island.

    • Anonymous
      November 16, 2014

      …right from the top down we are changing from democracy to kleptocracy.

  13. playboy
    November 14, 2014

    You know, we’re all acting like vagrancy and homelessness doesn’t exist in the richest countries of the world.
    To Ian Douglas’ credit, a couple of years ago, he said a solution must be found that absolutely does not violate the rights of the vagrants.
    He did not say that last year, but I hope his thinking has not changed.
    The human rights and the legal rights of all citizens, vagrant or not, MUST be protected.

    • JoJo
      November 14, 2014

      Yes, but that must not be an excuse for not doing anything. They are human beings that need help but the rights of ordinary, non-vagrants should be respected also. We do not have to tolerate the situation as it is because that does nothing for these poor souls either.

  14. Dray
    November 14, 2014

    More money needs to be put into education, healthcare, and agriculture if we want Dominica be strong, successful, and sustainable.

  15. The Facts
    November 13, 2014

    I thought this situation was solved. If they are a nuisance which they very well are to everyone, my suggestion is to find a suitable building and place them there. Then keep them occupied. They should learn to do something concrete which could be sold to upkeep them.
    On another note, these people have family. Try to contact their family and have a meeting with them, instructing them to keep them off the streets. What more could I state?
    As for the young ones who are still in school, they should be instructed to remain in school, concentrate on their studies that when they graduate they could seek useful employment.
    There are some parents who are incapable of disciplining their children or have a difficult time doing so. Some homes have only one parent. Some of those children do not accept discipline. In the end they will end up on the streets with no schooling.
    This should be a new beginning for the children/youths to make them responsible people. It is my feeling that those MP’s, the government in general should try to assist those parents by counseling them and in other respects that their children do not end up on the streets. This is one of the reasons why there are many vagrants on the streets of Roseau and elsewhere.
    Know that this is not only a problem in Dominica. It is a worldwide problem. These children have been ignored and have no alternative but to fend for themselves through begging. Thus, they ended up idly on the streets and have become a nuisance. This includes those who ingest illegal drugs. This is one of the causes of poverty.
    It is a serious matter which all governments should do something about, that children who one day will become adults do not end up on the streets and live in poverty and have to beg for their livelihood. It is a government/social issue.
    I am no expert but I have considered this for a long time. Do something about this instead of consistently talking and discussing it. It becomes all talk and no action. Get going. Once and for all, do something about this vagrancy issue. You do know it affects the progress and success of the tourist industry.

    • The Facts
      November 13, 2014

      “tourism”

    • Anonymous
      November 14, 2014

      Since you know so much, maybe you should run the country!

    • anonymous2
      November 15, 2014

      I guess that you don’t know DA. If you want something to get done, you had best do it yourself because nobody else is going to come along for free to help you. They will however, help you use whatever you have created.

  16. JoJo
    November 13, 2014

    I can only shake my head. The warnings were there, especially in the reports from the cruise lines. When the ships stop coming there will be all hell to brake loose with those in charge blaming everybody, especially those who, have been giving these warnings but are dismissed as negative. Yes, they will blame the whole world except themselves but it will be too late. I see big bill boards with the P.M. proclaiming that leadership is everything. Indeed Sir, it is reflected right here in the street of Roseau.

  17. November 13, 2014

    Such an easy problem to fix but the government lapse. They rather give hand out assistance to able voting electorates, than the vagrants whom they deem mentally incapable to vote .

  18. APachie Indian
    November 13, 2014

    they lookin for their pocket and that all

  19. marie morancia
    November 13, 2014

    I addition to vagrancy there exist the old Nassief building opposite the Old Market. It is the first edifice seen by the tourist. What a shame. The gutters and side walks in Virgin around the church are a disgrace. Walk along Castle Street, Church Street, Cross Street, Virgin Lane and Turkey Lane and just think the eyesore to the tourists. Shame on all those responsible tourism.

  20. uk Dominican
    November 13, 2014

    the name workers, the symbol SAW really that is suggestion for work to be done

    • Titiwi
      November 13, 2014

      Yep, you are right. We are cutting out all the dead and rotten wood.

  21. God have mercy
    November 13, 2014

    We have more beggars on the streets of Roseau than we had in 1999. We see the new roads and the big beautiful buildings and extravagant spending. giving the impression of a thriving economy. A false façade of development engendered to fool the less thinking among us.
    But how much of that spending dollar get into the hands of Dominicans. How much of it is spent on healthcare and education?. Which new industry was created in the last 15 years? Our Agricultural and tourism industry is hanging on for dear life.

    • UDOHREADYET
      November 13, 2014

      I’m sure that you know that the vagrants they speak of are the drug addicts (paros). The mayor of Roseau, the minister for public affairs, the police, the health minister are the people tasks with addressig this issue not the prime minister… seriously?!

    • The Facts
      November 13, 2014

      Any suggestions to eliminating the vagrants from the streets of Roseau? This is what is required – suggestions, feasible ones; not criticisms.

  22. Cp
    November 13, 2014

    We need completely new leadership in DA at all levels

    • The Facts
      November 13, 2014

      If you think this is the solution, you are highly mistaken.

  23. Anon Again
    November 13, 2014

    Negative impediments? Show me the positive impediments, Mr. Piper

    • Duncekyat
      November 13, 2014

      @Anon Again

      LOL… I see where you’re coming from… redundancy in the sentence structure. It is disappointing to observe the poor language skills used by prominent government officials while carrying out their official duties. It seems like they suffer from cerebral vagrancy.

      • my o my
        November 13, 2014

        I know a man who was in court today, who is suffering from corruption vagrancy.

    • Anonymous
      November 13, 2014

      Very well observed. A double negative and very poor grammar.

  24. Anonymous
    November 13, 2014

    All I have to say in this matter: useless Tourism Minister Ian Douglas. Only last year around this time he was trumpeting: we will get rid of these vagrants. Well, you did not…so we have to get rid of you.

    • Anonymous
      November 16, 2014

      Well, Mr. Douglas trumpeting, Mr. Skerrit blow his horn and Mr. Piper sucking his pipew, everybody else is blowing raspberries.

  25. Tragic
    November 13, 2014

    “We all know it is a social issue as well”….hmmm….for this God fearing, loving nation…shouldn’t this be a prime SOCIAL ISSUE and a “tourism issue as well?”

    Yes, they surely do care….don’t they?

    • Titiwi
      November 13, 2014

      For God’s sake. those visitors don’t come here as social workers. Lets be honest we want them to spend money and come back.
      So this is our problem and our problem alone and that is why we appoint and pay people to take care of that. So, Take care of it and please don’t come with that old excuse that you cant do it alone. Skerrit can rule alone so that is nonsense.

  26. Rey Miguel
    November 13, 2014

    Every tourist season for the past 5 years i have been hearing the same thing. I read the first 3 paragraphs and didn’t bother to go further. Mr. Piper i believe you when you speak to an extent but then I read and hear things like ‘relevant authorities’ and i shake my head. The ‘relevant authorities’ are Colin Piper, Ian Douglas and Roosevelt Skerrit. Come on man it’s like you the only one with some power who is seeing the issues plaguing our tourism product.

  27. Roseau rsident
    November 13, 2014

    Yes it is indeed heartbreaking that we are going into another season of promises and no one sees the need to even address the issue. It seems that it does not. Other those in authority. It baffles me to see the complete neglect of this “shity” – that’s what it is not a city. The sidewalks are in the most deplorable state!!! Human traps!!!! This has gone on for too long!!!! It has to Change. It must change.

  28. !
    November 13, 2014

    Take all of them but leave Creature. He is a classic.

    • Anonymous
      November 13, 2014

      You are sick. You want to make our destitute a tourist attraction. Think again.

  29. Trolol
    November 13, 2014

    Labor power!!! Just now so all of us have to be, just wait. :lol: :mrgreen:

  30. The Calabash
    November 13, 2014

    Heartbreaking indeed…..Some of the solutions are so obvious and ‘low hanging’.
    Our capital city has such natural beauty and quaint layout. It is far more attractive than so many others especially Bridgetown and St. Johns. All we need to do is be rid of the open drains, add some parking facilities, replace and renovate old dwellings and rid ourselves of the vagrancy. Beyond that, create a vibrant town focused on local culture and foods and then hold regular cultural activities such as open air concerts, running, festivals, etc etc…..
    Keep it small and quaint……small is good!

    • Anonymous
      November 13, 2014

      That’s all?

    • Anonymous
      November 13, 2014

      Don’t forget the pavements. I thought we signed up for easy access for the disabled. Even for able bodies persons Roseau is an obstacle course.

    • Titiwi
      November 14, 2014

      Well said, how many house in Roseau could have been given a lick of paint with that money wasted on billboards. And that would last longer and look prettier too.

  31. coyote
    November 13, 2014

    Labour power my backside , how many years have you guys been in power and yet you are still “talking” to the relevant authorities.Timeto pack up

  32. Oh Really
    November 13, 2014

    I thought Ian said a few months ago that this was sorted?????????????????

    • Anonymous
      November 15, 2014

      Ian says a lot of things but few people take him serious.

  33. Roseau Central
    November 13, 2014

    Vagrancy and harassment of visitors is one of the troubling issues Carnival Cruise lines would like tourism officials to seriously address before deciding on returning regularly to Dominica.

  34. I Agree
    November 13, 2014

    We can definitely look forward to more like this with Team Dominica

  35. Anonymous
    November 13, 2014

    We are great at pure talk but no action. This has been an issue for years and years. We not ready yet!!!!

    Some immediate action is required.

  36. Mr. Jedi
    November 13, 2014

    Can we make a zoo for them?

    • Anonymous
      November 13, 2014

      and pay a fee when it is feeding time? Some of our people really have a sick sense of humor.

    • My2Cents
      November 13, 2014

      Or we can make a zoo for you.

  37. Mwen
    November 13, 2014

    Labor ka twavay

    • Hmmm
      November 13, 2014

      Team Dominica

    • Anonymous
      November 13, 2014

      Labour ka twavay but WORKERS WORK!!!

    • Mwen
      November 13, 2014

      Oh sorry, I thought that it was a laborite cleaning the sewer.

      • Titiwi
        November 13, 2014

        No, he is looking for the tunnel to Martinique to claim asylum as apolitical refugee.

    • Boo
      November 15, 2014

      Of course they working. They going all about bribing people to vote for them.They say Dominicans greedy so u just have to give them thing and they will vote them in,

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