San Francisco police met with business and hotel owners recently in an effort to crack down on Union Square’s bustling prostitution trade.
“It’s a hot spot known around the world for shopping, but now there’s a seedy type of shopping going on in the heart of San Francisco: shopping for hookers,” said NBC’s Jessica Aguirre.
According to the NBC report, San Francisco police contend that prostitution is becoming bad for business and dangerous for tourists. Prostitutes can apparently be seen working in Union Square from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m.
“Sometimes, I’ll come out, go around the corner, maybe by Starbucks, and see, you know, girls dressed a little, scantily-clad, you could say,” said Pierce Jagger, a Union Square storeowner. “They might offer services, and uh, I politely decline usually,” he said with a laugh.
“The police may know about it, but there aren’t any under covers I’ve seen down here working it,” said longtime San Francisco resident Chuck Davis. Davis said he usually sees about a dozen prostitutes hovering on street corners at night, soliciting both men and women and sometimes becoming aggressive, with pimps standing watch nearby.
“If you come in here with your wife, and you’re from Omaha, and you’re walking down the street, and you see rather obvious prostitutes…not exactly a fun thing,” added Davis.
Police are reportedly working on a plan to clean up Union Square’s streets, but they say it is a delicate problem. They want to get rid of prostitution, but they also want to address the larger issue of human trafficking and provide help to women who have been forced into prostitution.