Chinatown Push Against Prostitution

Loraine Kunita
Loraine Kunita
Alden Kamaunu
Alden Kamaunu

(KHNL) - A Chinatown community hopes for a different kind of street cleaning. They want street walkers and other criminals off their corners.

Many residents in Oahu's Chinatown are tired of living in fear every time they take to the streets. So they're now sending out a message for criminals to move on!

Residents along Kukui Street are making noise about a growing problem for them.

Prostitutes, which some say, can be seen here all the time.

"Every day, they're here early in the morning and late in the evenings" says Kukui Plaza resident Loraine Kunita.

Along with the prostitutes, many residents are concerned about other more violent criminals on their streets.

"A simple walk to Longs or Safeway is not a simple walk they are always being accosted." says Kukui Plaza Manager, Alden Kamaunu.

That walk to Longs or Safeway is not far, they're just a block away for some residents. But, many feel, walking these streets is just too dangerous with streetwalkers nearby.

"You have drugs and all this violence, I think a few months ago someone was gunned down." says Kunita.

Prostitutes who work this section of chinatown admit there have been increasing numbers of street walkers, but also add, they're not making it unsafe, it is the drug dealers and drug users who are.

Residents rallying for safer streets are not only hoping to raise awareness, they are also hoping for help in their fight against crime.

Right now it's a misdemeanor but turning tricks could turn into a felony under a bill moving thru the state capitol.

The word on the street is that the number of streetwalkers is up in Chinatown, but police say, there has been no significant increase in prostitution arrests.

But also add, if they were able to sweep thru chinatown each evening, they could make arrests every night.