A Saint John councillor is demanding police crackdown on prostitution in the uptown area by strictly enforcing city bylaws.
Coun. Susan Fullerton won support for a motion at a Tuesday night council meeting that requested police find ways to limit the sex trade.
Taking a cue from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Fullerton said she wants police to use bylaws that are already in place to limit prostitution in uptown Saint John.
Giuliani had squeegee kids and panhandlers charged with jaywalking. Fullerton said she thinks a similar move could work in Saint John.
"He wanted to make improvements in the City of New York," Fullerton said.
Saint John has many bylaws already on its books that could be used to stymie the city’s sex trade.
The city has a bylaw prohibiting people from selling anything on the sidewalk without permission and from conducting business with anyone in a motor vehicle.
'I find in certain areas of the city, prostitutes are giving guests to our city — and residents — perhaps a less livable view of our city.' — Coun. Susan Fullerton
There are also rules against interfering with people walking and calling out from a sidewalk to attract customers.
Fullerton said the sex trade is hurting the city’s image.
"I find in certain areas of the city, prostitutes are giving guests to our city — and residents — perhaps a less livable view of our city."
Fullerton’s motion calls for a report from the police within 30 days.
But the city councillor’s idea is not being unanimously endorsed.
Coun. Shirley McAlary was the only councillor to vote against Fullerton’s motion because she said the police are already working on the issue.
When McAlary was on the police commission a decade ago, she said prostitution was a top priority for the force.
"They were active on it. They had a number of their officers uptown, as I said, undercover," she said.
"There were a number of charges made. And I really think there's very little of it in our community, and I think it's a waste of manpower, they're doing it anyway."