18 charged in hooker sweeps

A two-day prostitution sweep netted 18 arrests in Lowertown and Vanier, but Ottawa Police say it’s not an issue specific to downtown neighbourhoods.

“We find prostitution across the city,” said Insp. Uday Jaswal.

“A lot of it is driven by poverty, addiction.”

Police arrested 18 women Wednesday and Thursday, laying 44 charges.

Prostitution isn’t illegal, but it’s against the law to communicate for the purpose of prostitution or live off the avails of prostitution. Other charges laid include drug possession, mischief to property and breach of judicial releases.

Coun. Mathieu Fleury said prostitution is often interlinked with drugs, a major problem in his ward.

“When there’s drug addiction, people have to find money and they find money through different means. They steal, they prostitute themselves,” he said.

The sweeps are done in response to need, based on community complaints and police observations, said Jaswal.

Other sweeps busting johns generally use undercover female officers, but this effort focused solely on working women.

“They can be conducted in tandem with one another, but not always,” Jaswal said.

“The setup is different, the resourcing is different.”

Cops said they’ll be conducting similar sweeps throughout the year.

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/08/19/18-charged-in-hooker-sweeps

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