Billboard shame

Carey moves

ELECTRONIC billboards will publicly shame convicted kerb-crawlers if Vincent councillor John Carey has his way.

He wants the council to investigate the boards’ use in the city.

His move follows mayor Alannah MacTiernan’s announcing she wants to name and shame men prosecuted for soliciting prostitutes in Highgate (Voice, April 6, 2013).  

Despite WA Police issuing 156 move-on notices since January and undertaking a street-blitz in November, prostitution remains rife along Stirling Street.

“I will speak to the Vincent CEO and mayor about investigating a number of measures, one of which could be the use of electronic billboards,” Cr Carey says.

“However, we need to investigate all the details and legalities of any such measure.

“I know the electronic billboards have been used in this manner in other countries.”

In 2009 Minneapolis used digital billboards to publicise photos of men caught buying sex on the street.

Commuters on Interstate 35 were shown a blurred mug shot and encouraged to visit a website to discover offenders’ names and convictions.

The website shows pictures and names of men convicted of soliciting prostitutes over the past 12 months.

The Voice asked WA Police if they had any ethical or safety concerns over public naming and shaming of convicted kerb-crawlers, but was stonewalled.

“WA police is working with Vincent city council and other agencies to address these types of offences,” police media advisor Susan Usher said.

“Part of these discussions involve the use of different strategies to tackle these issues.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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