Friday, August 13, 2010

Me v. the Prostitutes Take Two

Based on my husband's wise advice *not* to interface directly with the brothels or prostitutes, I have slowly and slyly been gathering evidence (such as the picture, left, which, if zoomed in contains a sign on the landing "Beautiful New Young Lady - Come on Up!") in order to write up a report for the Westminster Mayfair Council on the unwelcomed prostitution in my neighborhood.

This was a very boring alternative to my many creative, perhaps dangerous strategies, including closing the doors (which, with good English locks would then lock them tight and deny them business) each night, purchasing neon large stickers, writing on them in large letters "BROTHEL - please ring for service,"   "DEN of INIQUITY - open for business" or "HOUSE OF ILL REPUTE - please knock loudly," and placing the hard-to-remove labels on the doors. I also considered stalking out the various doors and taking pictures as people went in and out.  Fun, but not very safe for a semi-petite white American girl who lives very close by.

Instead, I ran into a police officer for whom my neighborhood is his "patch."  Ran is the right word.  I was headed to send a fax at our club one night, and saw a Bobby hat and short-sleeve white shirt bobbing (sorry, couldn't resist) along the opposite side of the street a bit ahead of me and ran after him. He very graciously agreed to wait around till I sent the fax.  I then escorted him through Shepherd Market, showing him each door in succession.

He quickly pulled me aside in a safer place and got my details, saying he'd investigate more.  I was very pleased to get an email within a few hours saying he'd made a more thorough tour, was surprised by how blatant the brothels were, and was writing up a report for his supervisor so he might "clear up" the situation (I hope that means close the shops down!) and would get back to me.  Here's hoping it will be this easy!

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