Alleged street prostitution worries Rewa St residents
Police try to disperse them, but they return
Residents in an area believed to be a hotspot for alleged street prostitution in Suva have raised several concerns.
The Fiji Sun team talked to residents in Rewa Street, most of whom requested to remain anonymous, on the issues they faced with certain groups who loiter in the area at night. A woman, who lives close to the alleged hotspot, said the main problem was the noise level these loiterers made. “Noise is everyday. Sometimes they fight, quarrel and swear at each other; it goes on for most of the night. From my personal view, I don’t like it, but we can’t help it,” she said. Another resident, who has lived in the area since 2001, said it was disturbing, especially at night when the residents are sleeping. “They tend make noise not thinking of residents right up into the early hours of the morning,” he said. The man said it was a concern to see young people allegedly being involved in prostitution in the area. Makarava Wilson, who works at a charitable organisation based in the area, said: “When I work late, I notice them sitting at the bus stop and I have noticed Police trying to disperse them on several occasions. “But when the Police leave, they would just return. Police would need to be here 24/7 to be able to get rid of them,” he said. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said reports had been received by the Samabula Police Station from residents at the Samabula end of Rewa Street complaining of alleged prostitution and noise disturbances.
Ms Naisoro said Police officers were normally sent to chase these groups away when a report is received. She said these groups could not be labelled as prostitutes or sex workers unless evidence was presented proving that money was exchanged in payment for sexual activities. Ms Naisoro said Police continued to monitor the situation.
Prostitution, according to the Crimes Decree of 2009, is illegal with an imprisonment penalty of up to 12 years.
The vacant space at the bottom of a house in Samabula has been described by residents living nearby as allegedly being used for prostitution.