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NZ: 'Intimidation' prompts curbs on prostitutes (Canterbury)

Publish Date: 09 Dec 2011
Source: The Press
By: Paul Gorman

Help is on the way for Christchurch residents harassed by prostitutes and their minders outside their homes since the February earthquake.

Seven Manchester St residents from the block between Bealey Ave and Edgeware Rd fronted up at yesterday's Christchurch City Council meeting to describe intimidation from sex workers and pimps.

They said the street workers and minders plied their trade almost on their front doorsteps and told of drug deals and health and safety concerns after finding used condoms, hypodermic needles, tampons and faeces in their gardens.

Sex workers often started at 5.30pm and continued until 10.30am the next day, and were sometimes there all day at weekends. Children were frightened and adults did not want to leave home at night.

Residents were concerned the problem would get worse with an influx of construction workers.

Cr Sue Wells said the residents' shocking experiences were threatening the good relationship the prostitutes had enjoyed until now with the city council.

"Anything we can do [we should] to get the message across that their behaviour is unacceptable, that council is getting very unhappy and will start talking to the police about their behaviour and if they don't shift, we will work to shift them," she said.

Cr Barry Corbett said police needed to become more involved.

"I find the response from police frankly diabolical. If they say, 'No, we're not coming', even if you've got two children there who are frightened, well, I think we need to have that discussion with them quite quickly," he said.

Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button sympathised with the residents but said it was a "difficult issue legally" and tricky for the city to handle.

Cr Aaron Keown said it was hard to crack down on the problem unless there was clear evidence of trading and money changing hands.

New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective regional co-ordinator Anna Reed told the council and families that the issue would start to sort itself out once the red-zone cordons further down Manchester St were removed.

"We have a lot of sympathy for the residents in this situation and I wouldn't want it happening outside my front lawn either," she said.

"We do believe these are extraordinary times and we do believe it will change.

"We would be very opposed to any fine or other kinds of penalties for sex workers or their clients. It would jeopardise the good relationship we have with the police in Christchurch."

Reed said that while some sex workers would listen to the collective's advice, others saw only their own point of view.

Councillors resolved that council staff work with police and the collective to develop ways of moving street workers from residential areas to "a more appropriate environment".

They also decided the council legal team should explore ways of moderating the effects of street prostitution in residential areas through traffic and parking control.

Keown's suggested notice of motion that the council's enforcement unit immediately begin removing and fining anyone "trading" on the street in the area did not get a seconder.


Judith   #4   03:19 pm Dec 10 2011
Good on the Seven for fronting up! I just hope there is no retribution from the criminal elements who are associated with the prostitutes. For a long time I, like others resident in the inner city, have cleaned up the footpath, gutter and our garden and driveway each morning after the previous night's prostitutes' activities - everything from soiled toilet paper, used condoms, used syringes, empty and half-empty bottles and cans of booze (this about 5 metres from an "Alcohol-Banned" sign and security cameras - and yes, rubbish tins), discarded clothing, roll-your-own cigarettes filled with marijuana, empty plastic packets with drug residue, straws, fast-food packaging etc etc. I see them urinating in my garden during the night and I find the shit there too in the bushes and on the steps. I have to put up with hours of screams, cursing, vile language from men passing by in cars, loud thumping music from the cars of the minders or the clients. It is too frightening to confront them - they are even abusive in the daytime when you walk past minding your own business. Street prostitution needs to be banned from ALL residential areas - in fact, ban it altogether and enforce the use of brothels - but in non-residential areas. This is the case elsewhere. No-one will want to live in Bob's bright new inner city and no one will want to visit it either if they have to witness all of this. And no-one should be having to put up with this in the meantime - ever!!! Where are our rights to enjoy our lives and properties being protected? Is this what we are paying our expensive rates for?

go away!
  #3   03:02 pm Dec 10 2011
As previously commented - we don't want hookers and clients in ANY residential area. They have made our lives a misery for years within the four avenues and the police do nothing. Why? - because the police are either using their services themselves and/or 'keeping in' with the girls in order to obtain insider tips about criminal activities. This is not fiction - we have been told this by a senior police service associate. If Bob, Ngaire, Anna and others think the problem will be solved once the red zone cordon is lifted - get real!! There are many residents in the inner city - and the council wants more (they'll be lucky with this problem ongoing!). Why do we have to put up with (literally) all the crap? Bob couldn't cope with a few boy racers honking their horns and doing a few wheelies outside his inner city apartment so he shifted somewhere else. How would he cope with what we have to put up with? Maybe he, Ngaire and other la-la-land councillors should publish their addresses so the hookers, minders and clients could give them a demo... I bet then we would have speed-up of the resolution. It is very obvious that 'trading' is taking place. The prices are shouted from the roof-tops - or at least, the footpaths, and the residue is left all over the footpaths, in our gardens and drives - even stuck inside our letterboxes - along with the unused pot-filled ciggies. Maybe instead of binning the muck which we collect daily, we should bag it and dump it in the council building foyer, with a note from which areas it has been collected. Of course, the health risk to council workers and councillors is a consideration - but why should they miss out?

Ben Willems
  #2   08:54 pm Dec 09 2011
Faeces? Geeze didn't realise Kiwi's were into Cleveland Steamers.

  #1   09:46 am Dec 09 2011
Big words from City Councillors Sue(we have a good relationship with Prostitutes)Wells and Barry (we need to talk to the police)Corbet plus not to mention the Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button's "difficult issue legally" and tricky for the city to handle.

As I posted earlier the CCC needs to grow Testicles and deal with it...If they can do behind the door deals like the $17 million Henderson bail-out and God only knows what else without any problems then they can remove the Prostitute's from applying their trade outside ratepayers homes.

You make laws You can change them too!

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