by Nick Delgado
Local authorities are beefing up their efforts in rounding up prostitutes walking the dark streets throughout the island. And while they've been a problem for some residents in the past, others feel they provide a different type of service that most don't always recognize.
In the past week, the Guam Police Department has made several arrests involving prostitution locally. While the issue is not something new, GPD Spokesman Officer Allan Guzman says they've received more and more complaints that prompted greater enforcement. "Police are also cracking down on the supposedly streetwalkers, better known as the prostitutes, that are obvious in the Hagatna area," he said.
Guzman says police brought in about a half-dozen prostitutes last week, and two more just this past Sunday behind Club Texas in Anigua. Arrested on charges of soliciting to engage in prostitution and obstructing public ways was 45-year-old Maria Antoinette Hamm and 37-year-old Terra Tiptino.
Guzman warns those who do come in contact with any prostitutes. "Aside from the prostitutes supposedly getting arrested," said Officer Guzman. "Be forewarned that if you are caught soliciting these supposedly street hangers, your going to end up finding yourself also arrested and behind bars."
So while GPD continues to crackdown on the issue in Anigua, some businessowners are in favor of the prostitutes; the people they call "The Unknowns". One such businessowner, who asked not to be identified, told KUAM News that he has a different point of view when it comes to prostitutes in their area.
"I don't agree with it," he stated, "but one of the benefits that our company has, if you look at the buildings around here where the prostitutes hang out, you don't see graffiti, you don't see trash. It's actually very clean and they help me out, because as being a storeowner, we haven't gotten broken into, they're actually our free security guards."
He does admit that other tenants have had problems with the prostitutes becoming violent, but not towards him. "There's occasional [sic] where I have never seen it where sometimes they do flash at cars, and that's wrong. If they do their thing where it does not hamper anybody, I don't see why - it's needed.
"The main thing is they provide a service, I guess nobody else would provide to lonely men or whoever, that's their prerogative."
Meanwhile, police continue to ask the public to report any illegal activities they witness, such as prostitution, to the proper authorities immediately.