Over the next few months, licensing committees in each magisterial district will be approached by business owners to grant and renew liquor and hotel licences.
Some of these establishments allegedly operate as houses of ill repute and are venues at which police and immigration officers may have conducted raids on illegal aliens in the past.
In most cases, the aliens are charged and detained for illegal entry into this country. However, some of them had actually been forced into prostitution or various manifestations of the sex trade at the said venues.
The neighbours who reside in close proximity to such places of ill repute often complain bitterly among themselves that their properties are not respected, their entrances are blocked, they face noise pollution relentlessly and they have little police action against the operators of these alleged brothels and sex clubs who are permitted to conduct their activities with impunity.
Now, there is hope. The example of a community taking back its streets was established in the UK recently when the citizens of Lambeth Council raised objection through letters of representation and via petition to block the granting of a sex establishment licence to a local businessman.
The neighbours of the venue which had been operating for the past 6 years received their victory due to the impact of the 136 representations and the 168 signatures on the petition they submitted to the local council.
Councillors were swayed by the evidence of women and girls who reported feeling unsafe as they passed the venue on their way home due to the unsavory characters the venue attracted. Its location is in close proximity to schools, families and youth clubs.
CURB hopes that advocates against the presence of alleged sex clubs and other places of ill repute in various neighbourhoods throughout Trinidad and Tobago will take a stand similar to that of the residents of Lambeth Council. Unless they and the police raise objections, the profiteers of illegal activities will continue to have their applications granted before the licensing committees to the detriment of families and communities.
Please read the linked article below for more details.