According to theprovince.com, the small town of Merritt, British Columbia may join “scores of other law-enforcement agencies across North America, including ones in Alberta and Ontario, that have turned to public shaming as a way to deter prostitution.”
The plan is to release to local media outlets the names of accused johns once they’ve been charged, said Staff-Sgt. Scott Tod, commander of the RCMP detachment in Merritt.
“The reality is we live in a small town. Everyone knows each other.
One has to wonder why these policies almost always publish the names upon arrest, but before conviction, especially when the stated goal is to bring shame the accused.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is opposed to the practice.
It punishes the person before they’ve been convicted, said Nathalie DesRosiers, the association’s general counsel.
“What if they’re not guilty? They will already have been punished,” she said.
Of course, not everyone agrees with the strategy:
Kate Gibson, executive director of Vancouver’s WISH Drop-In Centre, which provides services to female sex-trade workers, said she worries such a tactic could drive prostitution further underground.
“It surprises me that there are people going in that direction. What does it serve to do?” she said.
It doesn’t surprise me, Kate. When it comes to prostitution, there is no shortage of people willing to dispense with the formalities of a conviction before doling out punishment.