Friday September 30, 2011
Massive Chilliwack RCMP operation nets hookers and johns
Released by Cpl Tammy Hollingsworth, Chwk RCMP UFVRD/Photo courtesy of the RCMP
he Upper Fraser Valley Regional RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) have been working effectively and efficiently to clean up the streets in the downtown core. A recent investigation into sex trade workers and "Johns" resulted in 30 arrests.
Over a 5 week period CRU identified 52
possible sex trade workers conducting business in the downtown core after a
number of local merchants and residents addressed their concerns about the
problem. CRU officers also identified a "Red Zone" which was indicated as the
area of concern by the community. This area was where CRU members observed sex
trade workers and "Johns" conducting business. The "Red Zone" perimeter is from
Nowell Street to Williams Street and Bole Avenue to Princess Avenue.
The project was aimed at relieving some of the incidents of crime experienced in the downtown core. Children going to and from the schools on Yale Road, merchants, and residents in the area had all expressed concerns over the number of sex trade workers lurking and working in that area. After the identifications of the possible sex trade workers were made, CRU conducted a 3 week project specifically focusing on prostitution and "Johns" in the area where residents had complained. It's not only about the safety about the concerned citizens, but it is also a safety concern for the girls on the street.
"The Crime Reduction Unit works daily to increase the quality of life of all Chilliwack residents and business owners," said Staff Sergeant Marty Blais, in charge of the Crime Reduction Unit. "Our goal is to keep this city a safe place to live."
Officers arrested nine men suspected of being "Johns" after they offered money for sexual services. Each of the suspected "Johns" were charged with Communicating for the Purpose of Solicitation and given conditions not to attend the downtown core. The oldest "John" arrested was 82 years old.
Twenty-one sex trade workers were arrested and charged as a result of this project. Six of the women were arrested for breaching their conditions to stay out of the identified "Red Zone". These six women had been arrested for soliciting during the first two weeks of the project and given conditions not to go to that zone. Of the 21 women arrested, the youngest was 18. Twenty of the 21 women arrested claimed they were addicted to drugs.
"Though some may argue that prostitution and patronizing a prostitute are victimless crimes, the police don't see it that way," said Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth. "No young girl grows up dreaming of doing this. Most of these street workers have had a rough life and are being exploited and degraded."
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