Update 31 May 2012: Well, I don’t imagine it’s gone away in the last year and half since I last posted about this problem, but prostitution has again become a huge issue in Playa de las Américas. Once again, it’s concentrated in Calles de Llanos de Troya and Arquitecto Gómez Cuesta, say residents of the area, according to whom sex is being offered … and practised … in the open from around 9pm to 7am.
Residents say, too, that there are even more girls on the streets than previously, something they put down to the economic crisis because there are also men there now selling their bodies.
Locals decry the police for driving through the areas while this is going on but doing “absolutely nothing” to deter it, a policy they feel is replicated at Ayuntamiento level. They say that the consequences are being felt daily in the area not only because of discarded condoms but because there are regular fights and disturbances caused by both the prostitutes and their pimps.
Update 1 August 2010: It seems that far from helping, all the promised measures have had no effect at all. Residents are again up in arms because the prostitutes are now starting earlier, around 6pm, apparently in order to get passing trade from those returning from the beach. Times must be difficult in this profession too.
Even worse, locals say that the women are lifting their tops up to show their breasts, and this in full daylight when children are around, never mind the risk of causing accidents: apparently there was a car crash the other day when someone was distracted and braked, and the driver of the car behind was also distracted so didn’t see the brake lights …
What will it take to cure this problem in this particular area? El Dia
Update 26 March 2010: In a gesture that will no doubt be considered far too little far too late, the mayor of Arona, José Alberto González Reverón, announced yesterday that fines of between €700 and €1,000 will be imposed for street prostitution. The fines will be part of modifications to municipal by-laws aimed at avoiding the disturbances that this activity causes in certain areas, specifically some streets of Playa de las Américas and Costa del Silencio.
Sr González Reverón explained that any modifications will first have to consider existing legislation because prostitution as such is not illegal, though there were clearly peripheral issues which were definitively criminal, such as trafficking of women and sexual exploitation. The qualification of first having to consider anything will strike many as evidence that this pronouncement is really little more than empty words. Diario de Avisos
Original Post 25 March 2010: For many months, if not years, the problem of prostitution on two of the main thoroughfares of Playa de las Américas has been a lively issue, with politicians seemingly doing their best to explain it away, residents seemingly and furiously at their wits end, and the police seemingly completely ignoring it. Now, however, two leading tour operators have told travel agencies that they will no longer wait for a solution that is apparently never going to come, and are to take their tourists’ business elsewhere. Since they are responsible for bringing more than 500,000 people to the south of Tenerife each year, most of them to Playa de las Américas, this is not an empty gesture.
It finally seems that as claimed by residents for some time now, Playa de las Américas really is beginning to be abandoned to the Hispanic and Spanish prostitutes and pimps who line the approach dual carriageway from the Police Station past the golf course, and to their colleagues “of colour” (which is how it is always worded) who throng the pavements of the road past the English bars and down to the green hospital and on to the Mediterranean Palace.
Some are saying that the town needs to emulate Puerto de la Cruz, which recently banned prostitution from its streets, while others are saying that the Arona police are too fearful of the violence of the “coloured” pimps and the prostitutes themselves, and will not challenge them: certainly there are many reports that robbery is commonplace in the area, as well as sex just feet away from the walkway in full view of passers-by. Others say that Adeje dealt successfully with the problem, which is why it has shifted to Arona, and they question whether the authorities are either inept or simply uninterested. La Opinion