Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

General Reports

Recommended Posts

April 8, 2013

Residents of Perth's most infamous suburb for prostitution have spoken out about sharing their streets with sex workers, however remain divided over whether the women should be forced out.

Following a push to clean-up "hot spots" in Highgate, Mayor of Vincent Alannah MacTiernan has launched a campaign to remove street-walkers and curb-crawlers from the district.

At a recent council meeting, residents were told that the City of Vincent was taking a strong approach to stop a perceived increase in sex being sold in the streets.

Smith Street resident Ray Clarke lives next to a block of housing which he believes is the base of around six to ten regular street prostitutes.


He said the amount of violence and anti-social behaviour had increased over the last year, which he said was directly related to the soliciting.

"There is a safety issue. I've found needles and empty packets on the side of the road... a lot of the young girls that live around here are harassed, when they are walking home these curb crawlers think they are part of the scene," he said.

Mr Clarke said residents have made "numerous complaints" over the last 18 months that he has lived in the street.

He said the "workers" would have been kicked-out by now if they had been renting privately, instead of through the Department of Housing.

"I'd like the Department of Housing now to get involved. They can't just be at arm's length anymore, they really need to get involved and know what they're tenants are doing and who they are.

"If they were renting privately... you would bet they would be receiving a breach of contract for operating on the street dealing in an illegal activity," he said.

The Department of Housing said on Monday that it is "aware of allegations of prostitution in Stirling Towers" and is "currently working with the police and the City of Vincent to investigate".

It said the Government's Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy, introduced in May 2011, sought a balance between supporting clients to maintain their tenancies and protecting the community from unreasonable disruption.

Steve Parry service delivery general manager of the Department of Housing said it would not accept activities such as prostitution in properties.

"When the Department receives a complaint it will investigate and a strike will be issued against a tenancy where appropriate if the complaint is substantiated."

"The Department of Housing does not condone activities such as prostitution occurring in its properties and if there is evidence to suggest such activities are taking place we will move to evict," he said.

Despite support from a number of residents, not all believe that the prostitution is a problem.

One Stirling Street resident said he and his partner bought their house over a year ago regardless of its location, opposite the "most popular pick-up corner".

"This spot is like the Hay Street of Kalgoorlie. It has been going on for a long time, before I ever moved in here, ten or 15 years ago I was reading about it.

"It's not dangerous - It's all blown out of proportion.

"If we move it from here, the trade is just going to move somewhere else. I would honestly prefer for it to stay the way it is," he said.

While Drew said it doesn't bother him seeing the "regular girls" walk-up and down his street being "picked-up by men in cars" but believes there would be less activity with an increase police presence.

"If the police just did the rounds more often that would make a big difference, but they don't."

His partner says she walks home at night and has never been propositioned, or feels unsafe.

"What I think they really need to focus on is having someone who the girls could go to. Not like a regulated system because obviously those girls are doing it for a reason and a lot of it is, from what you've seen, is because of drugs or mental health.

"It's one of the oldest professions in the world, it's not going to stop."

Source watoday.com.au

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this