Calgary police won't name accused johns
Calgary police won't be following the lead of their counterparts in Lethbridge and naming the accused clients of prostitutes.
Police in the small southern Alberta city began releasing names in October.
The police chief in Lethbridge, Tom McKenzie, calls it a return to old-fashioned, community policing, but officers and social agencies in Calgary don't agree with the idea.
Calgary vice squad Staff Sgt. Colin Adair said police in this city don't name johns because it doesn't work and their crime is relatively minor.
"We have bantered around the idea of naming johns and I have discussed this with all of the social agencies involved in prostitution and asking their opinion and …there is no information or proof to say it has a [deterrent] effect on the johns themselves," he said.
Naming johns would drive prostitution further underground and make it more dangerous, said Rosaline Carter, a spokeswoman for Shift Calgary, which works with local prostitutes.
"By releasing names of johns, their hope is that it would end the demand side of prostitution. Evidence is showing us that it doesn't actually happen. What is happening instead is the women and men we work with who are involved in sex work are pushed into more isolated areas," she said.
"They can't negotiate safer sex, they don't have time to screen their clients so there is more possibility of them experiencing violence or bad dates."
Prostitutes aren't the only ones that could get hurt when a john's identity is made public, she said.
"If you release the name of the john, it doesn't just impact them, there is a huge impact on their family and their social support networks."