Dozens of traffic signs have been destroyed by prostitutes performing pole-dances in the street to attract clients, officials in New Zealand's biggest city have revealed.
More than 40 poles have been bent, buckled or broken in the past 18 months in one area of south Auckland, New Zealand, it is claimed.
The signs, bearing legally required notices such as parking restrictions, are thought to have cost ratepayers thousands of dollars to replace.
"Prostitutes use these street sign poles as dancing poles," said Donna Lee, an elected member of the city council's Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board.
"The poles are part of their soliciting equipment and they often snap them.
"Some of the prostitutes are big, strong people."
The revelation emerged as the community board published a tell-all booklet detailing frustrations of residents and businesses struggling to cope with the rampant sex trade on their doorstep.
Part of the area Ms Lee represents is Hunter's Corner, which has become notorious as a meeting place for prostitutes and their customers.
Bernie Taylor, a local resident, said: "We had a parcel delivered to us recently and the address was 'Hooker's Corner' and it found its way to us with no problems whatsoever."
Locals turned out with placards to welcome publication of the community board's report, which calls on parliament in Wellington to give Auckland Council powers to ban sex workers from certain areas of the city.
The report outlines other street incidents, including an angry clash in which it says a transvestite rammed a supermarket trolley into a woman's car before lying across the bonnet, and a school-bus full of children observing a transvestite changing her dress.
John McCracken, the board's chairman, said: "We are beyond moral outrage.
"We just ask for some reasonable control of this industry."
But the Prostitutes Collective warned that outlawing popular streets would encourage sex workers to stop carrying condoms in case they are questioned by police.
Co-ordinator Annah Pickering told Television New Zealand: "They'll be expected to pay a fine, which they can't pay.
"They'll go to court, then they have to come back on to the streets and work to pay them off."
New Zealand has some of the most liberal prostitution laws in the world after the sex trade was decriminalised by the previous Labour government in 2003.----
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