Saint-Josse, a district in the Brussels region, will implement mandatory closing times for the 80 or so prostitution apartments known as “carrées” in its jurisdiction in a few months, reveals the daily La Dernière Heure on Tuesday. Opposition parties at the town council deem the project “irresponsible.”
According to the regulation which is yet to be voted on by the town council, windows of such apartments in Saint-Josse will have to be closed on Sundays and every night from 11:00pm to 7:00am.
New police regulations in place since 2013 limit the number of sex workers to one per apartment, and require a compliance certificate, points out La Dernière Heure. But Alderman Emir Kir (PS) says the measures have done nothing to stamp out phenomena such as human trafficking and arms and drugs trafficking.
At the same time, “it is obvious that rules concerning carrées windows are not respected and that turnover is still occurring. We cannot afford to place a police officer in front of every prostitution apartment 24/7 to ensure rules are followed.” A decision was therefore made to limit opening times, adds La Dernière Heure. The GIC (a local interest political group), which is currently in the minority at the town council, thinks this project is “irresponsible.” “The GIC fears that were this measure to be confirmed, a more extreme form of prostitution would spread on the streets which would be far harder to control and much riskier from a health point of view, with people moving erratically to neighbouring towns,” they point out in a press release.
The draft regulation does not affect Rue d’Aerschot, a major Brussels red-light district on the territory of neighbouring town Schaerbeek, but does affect adjacent streets.