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Council promotes Bill against street prostitution


Media Release
19 May 2010

Council promotes Bill to combat street prostitution

Manukau City Council is to ask MP the Hon. George Hawkins to submit a new Bill designed to combat street prostitution. The Bill will allow council to pass bylaws to restrict street prostitution in certain areas. If passed it would give the police the power to arrest any street prostitutes and their clients who contravene the bylaws.

The Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill 2010 is a Local Bill, to address a local problem - the increase in anti-social behaviour since the legalisation of street prostitution.

Cr Dick Quax says since street prostitution has been legalised, some Manukau communities have been badly affected.

“In particular, households and businesses in Hunters Corner in Papatoetoe and the Manurewa town centre have had to deal with the results of this type of activity. The unsavoury debris that is left behind, including syringes, has to be cleared up every morning. School children are being exposed to this type of impact, and our businesses and residents have to deal with the aftermath.

“That we can’t regulate this type of activity to any degree is extremely frustrating,” Cr Quax says.

“It is our responsibility to provide safe and enjoyable public spaces and by regulating street prostitution, we make our streets safer. Communities should have a say in what happens in public spaces, especially when it affects their quality of life, their investment in homes and businesses, their safety and their perception of their community.”

Overseas examples have shown that regulation and sanctions, along with other actions, are an important part of a successful solution to the problem.

Other measures the council has put in place include CCTV cameras, better lighting, community wardens, and closing public car-parks. More cleaning services have been put in place to clean up the effects such as used condoms, human waste, syringes and bottles.

“This has had limited success to date,” Cr Quax says. “It’s time to do more, to give our communities better tools to address the anti-social behaviour and crime that comes with street prostitution. When the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 was going through the House, we made submissions to regulate or prohibit street prostitution, and the police be given the powers to enforce it. However, the Act was passed without these recommendations being adopted.

“In 2005, the council tried to get the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 amended, but failed on grounds that we no longer think apply.

“We know the National Party at that time supported our stance and pushed for a conscience vote on this,” Cr Quax says.

“We hope that this time, Parliament will see fit to help us address what is a serious social problem in our communities.”

ENDS

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