Barcelona City Council is putting a plan into operation this summer to prevent unauthorised vending in public places in the city. The aim is to tackle the phenomenon in an integral and cross-cutting manner.
“We will not permit unauthorised street vending and we’re aware we have to get to the bottom of the issue”, explained the First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello. For the last year, City Council has been working to tackle the issue not only from a policing perspective but also from a social angle. “It’s a global and complex phenomena”, added Pisarello. “The action we’re taking is to combat an activity, it’s not about pursuing people, who after all are the most vulnerable”.
Employment and social support plans
One of the initiatives of the action plan being put into operation in July is the creation of forty job schemes, on top of the eleven already under way. The schemes will start straight away and will help street vendors without valid papers who have proof of residence in the city dating back a year. The aim is to help them get valid papers, give them training and prepare them for the labour market. From a social perspective, support will also be improved for vulnerable people via municipal social services and collaboration with entities and citizen movements. City Council is also backing a cooperative model as a tool for guaranteeing social and labour inclusion.
Police action and coordination
At the same time, action and coordination work by police corps will be stepped up in areas where unauthorised street vendors are most active, as well as with purchasers. Coordination with other municipalities and administrations will also be intensified, as recommended in a report by the Catalan Ombudsman in February.
Backing responsible consumption
A communication campaign will be run to dissuade the public from buying products from unauthorised street vendors, a measure which also aims to boost local commerce and responsible consumption.