Durban - Umbilo residents have applauded police for their efforts in trying to eradicate the scourge of drugs and prostitution that have plagued the area for almost a decade.
On Thursday morning, a multidisciplinary operation was conducted at three known brothels operating in Essex Road and Crart Avenue.
At the first house in Essex, police caught a couple in the act.
Police further searched the house where they found large quantities of condoms.
Residents, standing along Essex Road, looked on as police had to break down a metal plate pinned onto the property gate.
Police also has to use bolt cutters to cut through the barbed wire fence around the property.
An elderly woman said she was happy that police were taking action.
"We see the constant activity day and night. These women go out onto Frere Road and get their johns. They bring them back here and do their business. Then we see the men leave. It is a 24 hour operation. We are glad that police are finally taking action," she said.
At the second raid, of two properties in Crart Avenue, police found dagga seeds.
A Crart Road resident complained of constant movement in the road.
"We do not sleep. We are always hearing what is going on. We are tired now. We appeal to police to help us and do something," she said.
At least 12 women were taken to the uMbilo police station where they will be booked.
Lieutenant Colonel Stanley Perumal, uMbilo SAPS Visible Policing Commander, said these kinds of operations are aimed at forcing the drug and prostitution trade out of the area.