DOMA: Wreckers wrecking business in downtown Port-of-Spain

The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) is complaining that the wrecking service is destroying business in the capital city.

DOMA says it cannot understand the logic of wrecking delivery vehicles.

The Association issued the following statement on Tuesday:

"We write to make public our appeal for help regarding the growing aggression of the wrecker service in downtown Port-of-Spain.

In the past several months, apparently, in response to a decline in the number of shoppers available to be towed, the wrecker service, operated by the Police Mobile Unit has begun towing away commercial “T” vehicles, vans, pickups and trucks which are in downtown Port-of-Spain to collect or deliver goods.

These “T” vehicles have for decades been allowed to park temporarily for up to 10/20 minutes in order to facilitate business operations in the nation’s capital.

It is only common-sense that if a business cannot receive or deliver product that it will be impossible for it to do any business.

Towing away commercial “T” vehicles adds a new dimension of absurdity to the wrecker activity. 

Commercial "T” vehicles are in the city for delivery and pick-up of goods - they are usually on a tight schedule and do NOT remain in one place for too long - by the very nature of their schedules it is unworkable to ask these vehicles to park in a parking lot if there is none nearby to its need for delivery and especially if the pick-up and delivery is bulky or heavy in load.

The majority of these vans and pickups have company insignia painted on their doors and sides and have presented their delivery notes and invoices for collection to the police officer to no avail.

It is sickening to think that any agency could so abuse its authority and infringe on public rights and endanger an entire city by ignoring simple common sense in favor of a $500 cash reward.

By the very nature of this action of towing away “T” vehicles the Mobile division of the police service is hammering a large nail into the coffin of the City of Port-of-Spain.

If business cannot be conducted business will be forced to move.

There is no reason for us to recite again that the absence of a parking policy has created an opportunity for the public to be advantaged by the wrecking service. 

It is now open knowledge that the wrecking service is being used to supplement the revenue of certain public agencies and that the public’s rights are being ignored and infringed upon by those who are benefiting from this revenue.

Our many repeated representations have failed to inspire wisdom or the creation of good public policy. 

Countless articles written by respected journalists and columnists have been ignored.

The admission of abuse and promise of dash-cams has never occurred. 

Instead, nourished by cash collections wrecking has intensified and its destruction has had an effect on a wide variety of activity including Carnival events, Calypso tents and restaurant and tourism activities.

The countless number of “For Rent” and “For Sale” signs that are visible in Woodbrook, Newtown, St. James and downtown Port-of-Spain forms a link that leads right back to the Don's of wrecking.

We can think of no reason why men and women elected to serve the public interest should not understand the grave abuse and infringement that is at work here. We intend to approach the Attorney General to seek his assistance in protecting the public from this abuse and we encourage other towns and cities so affected to join us."

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