A vendor on the La Mata beach

The problem with the illegal sale of counterfeit goods has not disappeared; it is just the location that has changed. Following the crackdown by the Guardia Civil and Policia Locale in Torrevieja the vendors, most of whom originate from the sub sahara, have simply moved a few kilometers, either up or down the coast to the beaches of Los Locos and La Mata, coastal towns of Vega Baja and even into the neighboring region of Murcia

Originally many residents were skeptical about the effectiveness of the police crackdown in Torrevieja which began during the second week of July, particularly when they saw images and media reports of the violence between the vendors and the police. But four weeks on the local police joint patrols, coordinated by the Civil Guard, say that their deployment was well worthwhile as there have been no recent cases in the town, particularly in the areas where the vendors formerly concentrated their efforts, los paseos de Juan Aparicio, Libertad and Vista Alegre.

However, away from these areas, and the main tourist establishments of the city, there are still dozens of commercial and catering establishments which have begun to see an increase with the same hawking problems. The most significant difficulties would now seem to occur every Friday with the opening of the market, one of the largest in the Valencian Community, as many Senegalese vendors attempt to display their wares in the same places as licensed traders, all of whom pay municipal fees to attend the Torrevieja market every week.

Last week there were quite a number of situations of tension between the market traders and the illegal "street vendors" in front of their pitches. Local police were only able to provide two two agents, so it was necessary for reinforcements to be provided by the Civil Guard. It was only on their intervention that the situation was calmed and the area cleared.

The Torrevieja crackdown has also seen the "illegal street vendors" move into areas that are relatively new to them such as the beaches in Los Locos and La Mata, where they now appear to be present through the entire day and late into the night.

It would now seem that the towns and districts of Guardamar del Segura, the Orihuela Costa, particularly Cabo Roig strip, Pilar de la Horadada and even Lo Pagan and San Javier are also seeing increases in the numbers of illegal vendors and whilst the majority of these ‘lookie lookie’ men would appear to be of sub-Saharan origin these particular areas also suffer from a relatively large number of Chinese hawkers who seem to specialize in the sale of copied CD’s and DVD’s.

In Cabo Roig last Friday evening, a parade of bars and restaurants about a kilometre long, the only police presence was from two local agents who appeared to have no interest in making arrests or confiscating the mountain of illegal products from upwards of twenty vendors, their mission appeared only to be one of moving them on.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/40316/

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