WebPosted November 18, 1999 6:23 PM CST

Police crack down on prostitutes and johns

WINNIPEG — When it comes to prostitution, the laws have changed, so have the areas workers and johns frequent. Over the last three days, Police conducted a sweep that resulted in 21 arrests.

The areas targeted were Jarvis and King and Ellice and Toronto.

There were 19 males, between the ages of 24 and 77, arrested for charges of communicating for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.

It came as no surprise to people living in the area.

"It's about time they did something. You know it's sad to see young kids involved. It's not a great atmosphere for business" says Susan Funk's family who has run a business on Ellice for 46 years. She says prostitution in the area is a first.

"Probably the last year, we have never had a problem with prostitution before and it's been very obvious the girls will stand at the bus stop and pretend they're catching a bus. They're very young. It's quite sad" says Funk.

Police say the problem with prostitution is that it moves around, but there are deterrents.

Changes to legislation in March of this year allows police to seize a john's vehicle.

To get their car back, the john has to go to john school.

Including the most recent arrests, 70 men have been referred to john school. Still more clients are surfacing.

"It's not having the deterrent effect we wish it would have" says Dianna Bussey who runs a program for prostitutes.

She says arrests don't prevent women from staying away from the trade.

"The girls out there didn't choose it and I know they did make choices in their lives that led to that, but they did not choose to be working out there" says Bussey.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 21, 2001
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