Green light for name & shame. Kerb-crawlers warned

01. 783NEWSVINCENT mayor Alannah MacTiernan says her own daughter was accosted in Highgate by men looking for paid sex.

She revealed the information at a council meeting that decided to proceed with a plan to use the council website to name and shame people convicted of soliciting street-walkers within Vincent boundaries.

“This is not about revenge, and the council is certainly not taking a moralistic view—there are plenty of brothels in the area,” Ms MacTiernan says.

“This is about protecting female residents in the area—we’ve had girls as young as 14 running to us crying after being accosted.

“In the past [around 2000] it has happened to my daughter.”

Council CEO John Giorgi says the names of those convicted are available on publicly available court listings and the council has advice that re-publishing that information is legally sound.

Names will stay on the website for six months and the policy will be renewed in a year.

Cr Ros Harley fears the families of those outed as kerb-crawlers may suffer.

“We don’t want the sins of the father passed on to the family,” she says.

“The humiliation could be passed on to the wives and kids at school who are innocent parties.”

Ms MacTiernan says the move might actually save wives and partners from being exposed to sexually transmitted disease.

“Some street prostitutes are prepared to have unprotected sex for $150,” she says. “The potential impact on a partner’s health is enormous, they have a right to know.”

Cr John Carey wants to go a step further, sending letters to the addresses of cars that are seen prowling the area, and naming and shaming in newspaper ads and on electronic billboards.

Mr Giorgi fears those moves could leave the council open to legal action.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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