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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Drive-In ‘Sex-Boxes’ May Spread To Zurich

By David Chalk

Zurich’s new police chief has received “thousands of complaints” from residents about the city’s thriving red light district. So he’s planning a police trip to Germany to check out a possible solution: ’sex-boxen’, or drive-in boxes where prostitutes can do their thing in relative privacy and safety. The boxes were first used in Holland, and Cologne became the first German city to implement them in 2002, after which they spread to other German cities like Essen.

Jessica Francis of the Swiss daily Blick (translated from German) stresses that the Zurich policemen who are going on this German study trip “do not go for pleasure,” instead they just want to study if something similar can be implemented in their city. In Cologne, the city fenced in an area about the size of a football field, provided a gate and privacy screen, and outlawed filming and photography. After the first three years, they declared the sex-boxen a success, with little violence perpetrated against prostitutes and improved health among sex workers.

Still, it’s hard to picture Richard Gere and Julia Roberts falling in love in one of these:

In an interesting twist, the Zurich police department’s spokesman is really named Reto Casanova. “We can’t get rid of prostitution,” Casanova says, “so have to learn how to control it.”

So far the police department doesn’t have a site in mind for Zurich’s version of the boxes, but they are preparing a report for the city council on their findings.