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Chinatown's Fifth Precinct Will Start Cleaning Up Illegal Street Vendors

World Journal

January 6, 2002

The fifth police precinct announced yesterday (1-5-02), that they will start cleaning up the illegal street vendors in Chinatown. Starting from 1-12, every Saturday and Sunday, they will take action against street vendors who have not been assigned a permanent spot on Canal Street.

After 9/11, Chinatown was quiet for a while, the fifth precinct says, but people have been returning since Thanksgiving, and so the street vendors have returned as well. Since Thanksgiving, the precinct has been taking action against these street vendors, and also giving tickets to stores that sell their goods out on the sidewalk. They also discovered that on weekends, a lot of licensed vendors from elsewhere come to Chinatown.

According to [Lieutenant Turco, the officer in charge of the operation], the situation is out of control on weekends, especially on Canal Street, from Lafayette Street to Broadway. Street vendors occupy more than half of the sidewalk.

Illegal street vendors include Chinese who sell illegal CDs and DVDs, and South Americans who sell sweaters. Some of the licensed street vendors include some Indians who sell religious statues and books; there are also some food vendors.

[Mr. Turco] says illegal vendors should be selling on Canal Street, but neither should licensed ones if they were not assigned on Canal Street.

Since the manpower of the fifth precinct is back to normal, they decided to take serious action. Starting from 1-12-02, they will tell illegal street vendors to leave; if they fail to respond, tickets will be issued.

(Translated from Chinese by Patrick Lee)

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