Business owners in Seattle are planning to move away from the city due to the prevalence of prostitution and lack of police enforcement, according to KOMO News.
Sex work in Seattle is exposing stores and customers to crimes, deterring foot traffic and frightening residents, which is causing businesses to flee the area, KOMO News reported. Seattle business owners are frustrated with law enforcement’s performance in combatting prostitution, and many are voicing their displeasure.
“The crime that goes around it is incredible here. It’s like the wild, wild west here,” said Dutton Clarke, who owns a stereo warehouse in the area. “Anything that you can imagine that has to do with prostitution is here in front of the store,” he said. Clark plans on presenting this issue at the North Precinct Advisory Council, which is a community crime prevention group.
In Seattle, prostitution is a misdemeanor crime, and emphasis is placed on arresting the buyers, rather than the women. Ben Gauen, who works at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, explained that we can’t “arrest our way out of this,” in an interview with KOMO News.
“So I would ask your viewers to not consider the people they see walking along Aurora as the people creating the harm, but as the victims,” Gauen said. “And instead, divert their attention to what can we do to change the sex buyers behavior,” he said.
Clarke said he feels like addressing prostitution simply isn’t a priority for the city, and it has been associated with other, more serious crimes, such as gun violence, drug use, theft and violence. Gus Uribe, who owns a Five Star Auto car dealership, says he plans to move his business because of increased crime in the area.
“We’re leasing this property,” Uribe said. “We don’t own it, and our next move is to leave Seattle,” he said.
The Seattle Police Department did not immediately respond to Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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