Brimbank to act against illegal brothels
Illegal brothels will need to think twice before trying to set up shop in Brimbank, as Brimbank Council is committing to take stronger action against alleged illegal operations.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Lucinda Congreve said that Council has decided to hire independent investigators, in order to get quicker investigations and shutdowns of illegal brothel operations in the City.
“Our community has flagged concerns about massage parlours operating as illegal brothels. We’ve considered what more we could do, within Council’s legislated powers, to support quicker investigation and close down of such illegal operations.
“After due consideration, we’ve decided hiring independent investigators to investigate illegal brothel complaints could help get such illegal operations closed down quicker.
“This approach would help us respond promptly to community complaints – which is very important to us. Using independent investigators would also help speed up the process of investigating and prosecuting illegal premises.
“We know that other municipalities have used independent investigators to look into and gather evidence on illegal brothels, leading to successful prosecutions. We hope for similar success in Brimbank,” Cr Congreve said.
Council will also call on the State Government to provide better resources for Victoria Police to address and close down illegal brothels.
“Illegal brothels are a universal problem across all areas, and we strongly believe the police need to be better resourced to deal with it.
“Victoria Police is the lead agency in sex industry enforcement but it is under-resourced, and investigations of such complaints can often take time.
“We will write to the Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Hon. Lisa Neville to advocate for better resourcing for the police.
“Council will also actively explore opportunities with Victoria Police, to find how Brimbank can best support the monitoring and investigation of alleged illegal brothels in Brimbank.
“Councils have limited legislative powers to deal with such issues – but we are keen to help support the work of the police in dealing with this problem,” Cr Congreve said.
The decision to take additional action against alleged illegal brothels was made after Council considered a report detailing the options, including associated benefits, risks and costs, which Council could take to respond to the challenge of alleged illegal brothels operating in the City of Brimbank.