Kerb crawlers beware! Glenwood residents act against prostitution

2013-11-14 00:00

PROSTITUTES and drug dealers in Glenwood beware!

Our reporting crew found out that residents are serious about removing prostitutes from their streets. One of the local crime fighters pounced on them, took photographs and threatened to hand over their registration details to police.

The woman had spotted the reporters talking to a prostitute on Frere Road at around 11 am yesterday.

Scores of others are doing the same — taking pictures of clients and confronting them — in an attempt to scare off the customers and choke the trade.

Residents said some of their neighbours had formed gangs and were even shooting at prostitutes with paintball guns.

Those who are taking a tough stance against crime may take heart from a commitment made by the city yesterday to help get rid of prostitutes in the Glenwood and Umbilo areas.

The head of the eThekwini Municipality’s Safer Cities Unit, Martin Xaba, said the number of sex workers operating in Glenwood had reached an intolerable level.

The city would soon embark on a campaign, together with Lifeline, to conduct an audit of sex workers and then remove them from Glenwood.

Xaba said the problem of prostitution was worsening in Glenwood.

“A metro police report sent to me shows that about 80 sex workers were arrested in the Glenwood area last week. These are not the same individuals being arrested over and over … we are talking about different people,” he said.

A report tabled in the council highlights the issues faced by the city, including the influx of sex workers in the area, beggars and displaced people in the city. “They are controlled by syndicates who offer protection, drugs and remuneration. They work in an unsafe environment making them vulnerable with some of them being robbed, abused and even killed by their clients.”

The report said the city would use a holistic approach to target sex workers.

Xaba said they had committed more than R80 000 to remove sex workers, street children and beggars from the city’s streets. He said some of the sex workers are students at universities and colleges in the city.

Glenwood residents are also placing posters all over the suburb warning potential clients they are filming them. They say prostitutes are picked up by clients during the day and well into the night.

The roads between Che Guevara (Moore) Road, closer to the CBD, and Frere Road in Glenwood are the busiest.

“Not all women who walk these roads are prostitutes and they are being harassed by drivers. The prostitutes also expose themselves to drivers in an attempt to attract men,” said one resident, who asked not to be named.

Homeowner Tim Mcloughlin said the value of houses in their area had gone down due to the increase of prostitution.

He said the sex workers and their clients were even making use of portaloos meant for municipal workers carrying out work on Frere Road, to conduct their business.

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