A market vendor at the Savalalo Flea Market has raised his concerns over the growing number of crime around the market area.
The vendor, who only wants to be identified as Fau, told the Samoa Observer that there’s a growing fear among the vendors at the market from day to day.
For instance, he said there are fights on a daily basis and people stealing from others during broad daylight. Then, there are concerns about marijuana and other hard drugs being passed around.
He said the vendors are starting to suspect that there could be a gang that goes around the market area during the day and night to steal from people.
“Even at daytime, many market vendors see them attacking people and thank God the Police are always around to stop them, except in the night,” Fau said.
He recalled one incident that he was involved in.
“It was last two weeks when I was about to close down my stall, a young kid he’s in Year 12 in one of the government’s school came running towards me shouting for help,” he said.
“When I tried to turn around, he hugged me saying that people are following him then I saw two very young boys they’re maybe in the ages of 16 or 18 following him.
“And because I had a knife (for cracking coconuts), I scared them off and told them to leave or else they’ll get it. They ran away and swore at me.”
Fau said he asked the young man why these young boys were following him.
“To my surprise, the young kid said that when he hopped out of the bus, he took out his wallet and gave $50 to the bus driver for his fare.
“The two boys were standing just in front of the bus door (where he was heading out) talking to one of the street vendors.
“Then he hopped out of the bus, stands right in front of them and waits for his change from the bus driver.
“When he walked away, he said the two boys called him ‘uso’, he turned around and waited.
“Then the other one hugged him and asked him to give him money, he told them he had no money, but the other one punched him (he fell) and tried to reach inside his pocket telling him to give them the money that the driver gave to him.
“When the poor kid got up, he ran straight to where I was. He told me that he was on his way to buy box of noodles for his mother asiasiga when they attacked him.”
Fau said the number of similar incidents in Apia has increased from time to time.
“This is not the only incident. It happens almost every day and to my understanding, it’s everyone’s responsibilities and not just Police.
“I know some people are also selling marijuana around, and that’s why many incidents occur in Apia.
“That’s not new in Samoa but by working together these kinds of bad behaviours could be eliminated.”