Brothel client leaps into cops’ arms

2016-03-29 06:00

A “lover’s leap” landed a man in hospital after he tried to escape the City of Cape Town’s vice squad last week.

The incident took place while the vice squad and liquor enforcement unit had numerous successes during a series of autonomous and joint operations focusing on prostitution and illegal alcohol sales.

Last Wednesday they conducted a joint operation with the Hawks at a suspected brothel in the city centre.

During the operation they arrested four women for prostitution but while searching the premises, a client who was in one of the rooms on the second floor tried to escape by jumping through a window.

The man smashed the window frame and fractured his leg upon landing on the ground. He was transported to Groote ­Schuur hospital for treatment.

“Fortunately for this man, pain and embarrassment are the worst of his woes as current legislation doesn’t provide for a client using the services of a prostitute to be charged unless he is caught in the act,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security. “Had he known that, I imagine he would not have turned stuntman.”

The Liquor Enforcement Unit conducted inspections at 78 premises in the city centre, Milnerton, Tokai, Bothasig, Langa and Parow last week.

Officers issued 17 spot fines totalling R28 000. In addition, they executed three warrants of arrest and issued 11 compliance notices to owners whose businesses did not comply with regulations.

Operations in Brooklyn, Bellville, Macassar and Atlantis also resulted in 31 spot fines for solicitation totalling R37 700, as well as five compliance notices to women found conducting their trade on the streets.

A Bonteheuwel tavern owner was hit with a R32 000 fine after the Liquor Enforcement Unit found he failed to keep to his trading hours.

“That fine amount is probably what this tavern owner makes in a day or two, but we have to work with what we have in terms of available sanctions,” says Smith.

“The public inundates us with complaints about illegal or irregular liquor sales, but it is important to understand that it is not a sprint to get a problematic liquor premises shut down, but more of a marathon.

“Some tavern and shebeen owners are sanctioned once and toe the line; others are determined to push the limits and while they may initially get off with a slap on the wrist, continued disregard for the law eventually sees them falling into the hole that they’ve dug for themselves.

V You can lodge complaints with the Liquor Enforcement Unit and vice squad on 021 980 1386.

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