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Prostitution becoming more apparent in region


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Prostitution appears to be thriving in the Algarve, with girls becoming more obvious on main roads.

The region has a number of hotspots for girls who work the streets but now many residents in or near to Boliqueime are increasingly worried at their presence on the roadside during daylight hours.

At 5pm last Friday, six prostitutes were seen on the stretch of the EN125 which connects Fonte de Boliqueime to Albufeira within the council of Loulé.

One hour later only two women remained. A local business owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said the girls have been there on a daily basis since June, often as many as six at a time.

“I am very worried about how the area will decline if this is not stopped,” he told The Resident. “I have lived here for a long time and am really concerned about the image this portrays.”

He added that the police know about the problem because the GNR rounded the girls up and took them away around two weeks ago but, by the next afternoon, they were back working again on the roadside.

There is no immediate way of knowing if these women, who have been heard speaking Spanish, are in fact here of their own free will or if they are controlled by pimps. In Portugal, prostitution is not illegal although pimping is a crime.


One Loulé resident has had a constant battle with the men running a brothel in a property that she inherited when her father died.

The woman, who The Resident has agreed not to name, said: “My property has been run as a brothel for some time. My parents had it as a restaurant when I was a child. In later years, my dad rented it out and now I’m struggling to evict the men who are running it as a brothel.”

She added: “It is my property and I want to put it to better commercial use but I cannot get these men out. I have had a series of difficult encounters with them and feel threatened and bullied.”

She admits to having no idea about the conditions under which the girls there are working or if they are here legally, but said: “If I feel afraid of the men, what must it be like for the girls who work there?”

This week, UK Home Secretary Jaqui Smith announced proposals to change the laws governing prostitution, including making it a criminal offence to pay for sex with women controlled by pimps.

Under the proposed changes to the law, men could face rape charges and first time kerb-callers could run the risk of being named and shamed.

Anyone paying for sex with women who have been trafficked or controlled by pimps could be prosecuted under the new guidelines and the excuse of ignorance would not serve as a defence.