Maryland police to live tweet prostitution sting operation

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by CBR Staff Writer| 06 May 2014

The department plans to upload images using hashtag #PGPDVice.

Prince George's Police Department (PGPD) of Maryland in the US has announced a plan to live tweet its crack down on prostitution, as well as post the pictures of men they arrest online.

The PGPD's Vice Unit said it plans to start next week and will only target those soliciting prostitutes and not prostitutes themselves.

The police department plans to upload images and other information of the sting operation using hashtag #PGPD Vice.

In a statement it said: "We won't tell you when or where, other than it's somewhere in the county sometime next week.

"From the ads to the arrests, we'll show you how the PGPD is battling the oldest profession.

"Suspect photos and information will be tweeted. We're using this progressive, and what we believe unprecedented, social media tactic to warn any potential participants that this type of criminal behavior is not welcome in Prince George's County."

So far, the move has attracted widespread criticism, calling it "police brutality" and a "horrific violation of rights".

The PGPD said: "Our Vice Unit will target those who choose to solicit a prostitute, not prostitutes themselves.

"The intent all along has been to put on notice and/or arrest the very people who exploit women and even young girls in our community. Some young girls and women involved in prostitution are victims of human trafficking.

"We're hoping the advance notice we've provided acts as a deterrent to would-be johns who choose to engage in this illegal behaviour.

"This is another example of our department's commitment to transparency. We'll give our community real-time access to the PGPD's Vice Unit which is dedicated to shutting down this type of illicit business and seeking help for its victims."

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