Pretoria west residents are accusing local police of turning a blind eye to “rampant” prostitution in the area.
“Our police only act when there is an outcry,” local resident and crime activist Eric Cordier told Pretoria Moot Rekord this week.
“However, they do nothing when the sex workers return weeks later.”
Cordier said sex workers had been openly operating in several streets in the area “for years now”.
“Prostitution is becoming rampant.”
Police said the problem remained an issue in Frederick, Servaas, Court and Rose-Etta streets.
But Cordier said prostitution was especially a problem in Vom Hagen Street.
“It is a very difficult matter for residents, police and social workers.”
He blamed the mushrooming problem on the “out-of-control” increase in informal settlements in the area.
“Time and again I see a newly erected hut in the bushes somewhere,” he said.
“Our main concern is that one squatter camp, in particular, is in full view of the public.”
He admitted, however, police and the metro police carried out regular patrols in an attempt to curb this crime.
“Prostitution remains against the law,” he said.
Cordier said learners from different schools walk past the areas in question daily.
“We do not want our children to be exposed such things,” he said.
Other residents have also been grumbling about the issue, but say little action has been taken.
Pretoria west CPF public relations officer Thesigan Pillay said prostitution had definitely spread to several areas.
He was also concerned about learners in the area.
“While both parties have rights, I believe the rights of the learners are more important,” he said.
“They [the prostitutes] have their rights and we respect them, but they have to take into consideration that this is a public space and children walk past here.”