Clampdown on hookers

2016-11-30 06:01

MSUNDUZI Municipal security will now join forces with a brothels task team to tackle the growing prostitution rings in Pietermaritzburg.

The municipality has committed to assisting the police who have been battling to combat the issues emanating from the problem. The m unicipality and police have received numerous complaints from the public, especially those residing in the so-called “red-light district” in Prince Alfred, Bulwer and Burger streets in the Manor area and the CBD.

Coupled with prostitution, residents say one of the major issues is littering, especially of condoms and soiled tissues, and the burning of waste at night.

In a report to the city’s executive committee, the environmental department said municipal security will lend support to the task team.

The report also highlighted the need for intervention by social services.

“Law-enforcement responses are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem associated with prostitution. The most effective responses … rely heavily on social services to encourage prostitutes to exit permanently from the streets,” the report stated.

The department called for other education and health awareness institutions to intervene - a move that the executive committee agreed with.

“Enforcement strategies will not be successful without an array of social services to help prostitutes leave the streets. It is particularly important to break the connection between drug use and sex work,” read the report.

The department reported that leaving the street is a “long and complex process” and services must be provided at the right time and in proper sequence.

Some of the key services include drug and alcohol treatment, mental-health treatment, housing, peer support systems, child care, job training and employment, health care and HIV/Aids and other STD testing. Transportation and legal aid should also be included.

“Services should be easy for women to access and should have flexible appointment times, reasonable waiting times, extended hours of operation and record-keeping practices that are sensitive to many prostitutes’ concerns for confidentiality,” it read.

The municipality will also erect signs in the area prohibiting prostitution, soliciting and other nuisance activities in the “red-light” district.

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