The sex workers trade union on Tuesday criticised the increase in street prostitution in Saint Josse in conjunction with the closure of districts at 11pm, as per new police regulations which come into force at the beginning of April. Since March 1st, the date on which these regulations were initially intended to come into force, the police are carrying out awareness-raising amongst the prostitute community.
The union reiterates that street prostitution is dangerous for prostitutes. “As many different leaflets have been handed out, the majority of women of the night preferred to stick to the new working hours,” observed Maxime Maes, a representative of the group. “As their districts close early, they are on the game in advance of the curfew. This increases street prostitution. Often they leave by car with their clients.
Having learned of the rise in street prostitution, women of the night now driven away from Yser, have also started to come in.” The trade union, moreover, notes the difficulties with competition between prostitutes used to working in the daytime and those working at night, who tend to be younger but who now wish to start work earlier.”
Pauline Goeminne, the spokeswomen for the mayor Emir Kir, is unable either to confirm or contradict whether there is currently a rise in street prostitution, “Street prostitution is not a new phenomenon in Saint-Josse.”
Prostitution is also evident in cafes. These practices are monitored. There is evidence already that the regulations are being properly applied and that, during the week, there is very little prostitution. It will take longer for the regulations to be properly implemented at the weekend.