New measure takes aim at prostitute solicitors

Posted at: 03/15/2013 5:59 PM
Updated at: 03/15/2013 10:14 PM
By: Staff

The city wants to crack down on prostitution by punishing customers or "Johns" by publicly punishing them.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 got a first look at the new proposed law called the "Prostitution Forfeiture Ordinance."
The proposed measure calls for anyone caught with a prostitute in their car or on their way to or from an encounte will have their car will be booted for all to see.
The traffic along Central Avenue is obvious, so are the shops, but it is the illegal business transactions being conducted along this major artery that are harder to see but has the city taking action.
There are plenty of laws punishing prostitutes but without clients, there is no work.
Mayor Richard Berry said a new ordinance would specifically go after those customers.
"You're going to end up with a boot on your car, that says something along the lines of, 'I was picking up a prostitute,'" Berry said.
Currently, when arrested for drunk driving in Albuquerque, police boot the vehicle for everyone to see. In the case of being caught soliciting prostitution, officers will use a similar boot except it will be labeled something along the lines of 'prostitution' in a bright pink or purple color.
Cities like Denver, Phoenix and Dallas have similar legislation in place. Albuquerque Police Department's VICE sergeant, who works undercover and cannot disclose his identity, said implementing the measure in Albuquerque will prove just as effective.
"We have an average of one prostitution arrest, everyday, 365 days a year," he said adding, it will also help tackle other problems. "Prostitution touches every other aspect of crime from homicide narcotics, robberies, property crimes - it's bigger than just prostitution."
Saggio's Manager Steve Argo said he sees the proposed ordinance only as a positive move.
"It's definitely going to help the image of Central and all the businesses on it," Argo said.
Police could put the prostitution boot on an offender's car in front of their house and the John will have to pay about a thousand dollars in fines for the first month.  Second offense, the car could even be taken away.