‘Clear our streets of prostitution’

2018-05-08 06:01

“We are sick and tired of prostitution and the drug dealing that comes with it, in this community. Our children are not safe and we will not allow them to be influenced by these activities. The police need to be attentive, daily, to keep our streets clean.”

These are the words of an angry, fed-up resident of Lansdowne.

Residents say illegal activities are taking place in broad daylight, increasing at night when not many people are around.

“I fetch my son from school and we walk past several hotspots in Lansdowne daily. If these individuals are not seen dealing with drugs, then they are having sex behind broken halls or trees for money. Most of them are young females with drug addictions,” explains Desire Lammy (38).

“Many of these girls, who are troubled, are seen walking on the streets at night. They use prostitution as an income, and do not want assistance from the public to help change their lives. They have an addiction which is supported by their partners, and prostitution is used to uphold it.”

Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka from Lansdowne Police Station says an intelligence-driven operation was conducted over recent weeks to curb prostitution and remove several sex workers from the streets of Wetton and Lansdowne.

The operation included officials from Lansdowne Police Station and the Lansdowne Community Policing Forum, in partnership with Lansdowne neighbourhood watches and Law Enforcement.

“The prostitution is always an outcry from the community during public participation meetings as it was alleged that there are also criminal elements along with it,” explains Mnyaka.

“Identified sex workers along these roads were intercepted and searched, then given written warnings by Law Enforcement for loitering. They were told to vacate the area immediately.”

Mnyaka says stop-and-searches were also conducted during the operation and four males aged between 22 and 38 years were arrested for armed robbery and one for possession of a dangerous weapon at about 02:00 on Saturday morning.

Ward councillor Mark Kleinschmidt says he has observed a significant decrease in the number of sex workers on the streets of Lansdowne. “It is the scourge of drug addiction that drives the womenfolk to a squalid life of prostitution. Once these vulnerable women are trapped into addiction, their pimps introduce them into prostitution to support their drug habit as an income for themselves (pimps),” he explains.

“These women are most vulnerable to abuse and assault, and those male customers who perpetuate the prostitutes’ livelihood must be identified and brought to book. Without customers, the prostitutes cannot ply their trade,” says Kleinschmidt.

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