Blokes who don’t know where to go to find a harlot in Manukau have been given some useful guidance today by the burghers (and burgheresses) of that troubled city, who earnestly tell us they intend setting up a working party to formulate a plan to address street prostitution.
The council’s Policy and Activities Committee has resolved that the aim of the plan is to make Manukau free of street prostitution.
It sounds as achievable as Helen Clark’s ambition to make New Zealand carbon-neutral.
It’s tempting to tell these busy-bodies where to go. But Alf observes that the busy-bodies have told the street-walkers’ prospective customers from out of town where to go.
The council is responding to repeated demands from communities where street prostitution has become concentrated – in suburban town centres surrounded by residential housing. The main areas of concentration are Manurewa town centre and Hunter’s Corner in Papatoetoe, with some sporadic reports of instances in Otara, Mangere and Old Papatoetoe.
That should draw the crowds to those areas.
Then comes the clucking.
Street prostitution creates an unsafe work environment for street sex workers, especially for young persons, says Councillor Dick Quax, the council’s community safety portfolio leader, who will lead the working party.
“It provides the most likely entry point for young people into the industry due to its unregulated nature.
“Also, involvement of gangs and organised crime in street prostitution has become evident from the council’s CCTV footage, media coverage and community feedback.
Street prostitution also attracts offensive litter, disorder, drugs and intimidation. It makes certain areas unattractive to do business in or to live.
“Our communities have been continuously demanding some action.”
But if they don’t they have someone in Manukau to police the litter laws, or laws to deal with disorder, drugs and intimidation (illegal already, Alf understands), why add more offences to the list of laws that won’t be policed?
The council’s working party is likely to consider various possible recommendations to the government “to enable communities to control the negative effects of street prostitution”. It sounds suspiciously like these negative effects are the real problem.
We are told the working party’s recommendations could range from a request for a complete repeal of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, or to amend the Act so that street prostitution is made illegal nationwide, or amend the Act so that communities and local territorial authorities can choose to make regulation banning street prostitution.
Other non-legislative measures will also be considered.
Alf has an idea: why not ban blokes from those trouble spots.
That should do the trick, eh? It would deal with much of the litter, disorder, drugs and intimidation problems for good measure.
Alternatively, the committee might consider coming to Eketahuna to see how we deal with the problem. Our methods are obviously highly successful. There are no prostitutes on our streets.
Come to think of, it there are very few people on the streets even in the rush hour.