OAKLAND (KCBS) — Residents of an East Oakland neighborhood held a march Friday night to take back their streets. They’re tired of crime and a prevalent prostitution problem and the police department and City Council are on their side.

The area of 17th and International is a haven for prostitution and now with Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts and Council woman Pat Kernighan, the community is pulling together to show that they’re not going to take it anymore. Many of those who marched were young girls who see the prostitutes every night.

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KCBS’ Susan Kennedy Reports:

“I came here because I wanted a safer neighborhood. I feel it’s important to have a united community,” said one young girl in the march.

Some of the prostitutes are as young as 11-years-old, which is scary for a girl the same age who attended the march. She said she feared being kidnapped and “turned into a prostitute”.

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Chief Batts spoke at the march and told residents he plans to put a spotlight on pimps and johns.

“We’re going to start putting pictures up on our website of people that we’ve arrested in this community and this neighborhood,” said Batts.

The police chief stressed the importance of power in numbers and that community members should be watching the streets every night instead of just during a rally.

The pictures will start going up on the website next month. In the meantime, the city has also filed a nuisance suit against the National Lodge Motel to shut down the prostitution activity there.

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