Sex nah sell again - prostitutes say police hurting business
Sex workers in Old Harbour, St Catherine, say the last three months have been rough as the presence of the police is hampering their business.
Princess* told The WEEKEND STAR that she operates from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, and the police are usually numerous.
"Right now, wi affi hide and do wi thing. One time, wi could a deh out and about and look wi food, but now, wi affi do wi thing inna secret," she said.
Cuite*, 37, who worked at a club for six years, said that she hasn't had a steady income for months because she has to be finding other work.
"Right yah now, the club lock down now, and out here is very sticky," she said. "Everybody work just stop deh so because the vendor dem weh use to get sale nah get none again."
Inspector at the Old Harbour Police Station Simon McCormack said the police are trying to clamp down on the illegal night-time activities.
"We are having a challenge with those persons. We do take them up from time to time, but when they go in the court and they pay the fine, they come and go back to the same thing," he said.
McCormack said that persons operating businesses under the spirit licence rules and truck drivers are part of the problem.
"When the areas that operate with spirit licence are open and men go there, the women take the opportunity to go to those places and solicit things from the men ... . That is why some of the places got their spirit licence revoked," he said.
Cutie said that her business has fallen almost 100 per cent.
"Most time wi out yah, and we not even a make $100 fi gah we yaad. Me weh tek transportation fi go home, sometime a beg mi affi beg drive fi go home because things really slow now," she added.
She told the WEEKENDSTAR that she has five children, and this type of work helped fund their schooling.
"Most time when the club did open and mi use to work there, things did good because mi used to hustle money there plus go pan the road and mek some more money. Mi coulda go home wid $20,000 a night from what I do on the road plus the tips I made in the club," she said.
However, McCormack said the women need to leave the street.
"People will find some place else to go when the police are on them, and so, we are not going to stop until they find somewhere else to go," he said.
He also asked the municipal corporation and the fire department to demolish buildings used by the women.
"Some of the structures, they are illegally erected, and some don't meet the safety standards. We as the police cannot demolish these buildings, so we need to get the help," he said.