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Underage prostitution in Mangere

25 Jan 08

Underage prostitution in Mangere

The Family Party is raising concerns over reports of school students soliciting in the Mangere town centre and believes Labour's prostitution laws are to blame.

The reports come following a police operation that netted 25 arrests involving men engaged in sexual activity with underage girls in South Auckland. Police reported criminal activity such as street violence and drug dealing were closely linked to the activity.

Richard Lewis, a former South Auckland police sergeant, says he has been made aware of incidents involving school students offering sex in return for money at the Mangere town centre after school. He says students dabbling in this activity are at serious risk of harm and are likely to attract dangerous individuals towards the area.

"We know prostitution is closely associated with drugs, gangs and violence. I'm concerned that these kids are starting down a pathway that has a nasty end. This door was opened when Labour liberalised prostitution laws to please a few pimps, prostitutes and labour MP's. But it's the families of these kids who will have to pick up the pieces," says Mr Lewis.

He says targeting the demand for prostitutes is an effective strategy in minimising opportunities for children and young people to venture into prostitution and has praised South Auckland police for their latest efforts.

"It's great to see the police taking proactive action against sexual predators of young people in South Auckland. But as I've said before, Labour sent a message to young people that prostitution was a valid career pathway so it was inevitable that we would see an increase in this kind of activity. But if we target the demand it stands to reason we'll minimise the supply, making young people less inclined to take the huge risks associated with prostitution," says Mr Lewis.

The Family Party is challenging Labour for the South Auckland seats of Manukau and Mangere in the 08 Election.


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