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Olympic “Clean Up”
Social Issues – Bad news for brothels…and the poor! As the Olympic games near, London has begun ridding the city of its pesky prostitution and homeless problems.
Anti-poverty charity Toynbee Hall notes that the number of sex workers arrested in Tower Hamlets, one of five Olympic boroughs, has already exceeded the numbers from 2011. Approximately 80 brothels from all five Olympic boroughs have been shutdown as well.
“This increased activity has happened disproportionately in the Olympic boroughs.” Andrew Boff, a London Assembly member and spokesman for the Conservative group on the 2012 Games, told The Sun.
A metropolitan police team was set up in 2010 to address vice-related crimes in the boroughs, and indeed this task force has conducted 127 brothel raids since it was formed two years ago. An entire clean-up of the city has strip clubs, canal boats, and the homeless being cleared away.
Many cities that have previously hosted the Olympics, such as Beijing and Los Angeles, did the same. However you have to question if all they’re merely doing is sweeping the problem under the rug. Canal boats, which for some are their homes, are being removed while the homeless are being harassed according to Richard Burdett, editor-in-chief of The Pavement, a magazine for the homeless.
The situation is difficult as the boroughs are in need of economic revival, but at what cost?