City’s red light district moves to the ‘Net

By P.A. Sévigny on May 6, 2009

Police officials report street prostitution for both genders has nearly been eliminated and swept off the streets in both the downtown core and the east-end’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts.

“There’s always a market for sex,” said one downtown police officer, “…but now it’s off the streets and on the web which is fine with us.”

In 2002, police officials began the ‘Cyclops’ project after spontaneous riots broke out in the city’s. Unable to tolerate the petty and sordid crime which was taking over their streets, local residents began to beat up and abuse local dope dealers and street prostitutes after which they set fire and burned down a number of buildings known to be the local district’s ‘crack’ houses-apartments where drugs  were both sold and used by local dope addicts. After embarrassed police officials heard local residents describe how prostitutes of both genders were selling sex in local parks and playgrounds, the SPVM knew the district was desperate and they had to do something about it. Only a few years later, police officials admit sex in the city is still as big and lucrative a business as it ever was but now it’s “off the street out of sight and out of mind” which solves at least a bit of the problem.

While the Cyclops in Virgil’s Iliad only had one eye, the SPVM’s Cyclops has thousands of eyes and ears close to the ground in any one of the city’s known ‘hot’ spots. Once local residents see any kind of suspicious or illicit behavior going on in their neighborhood, all they have to do is to describe the situation, a car, its color and especially its license plate numbers for the police to follow up upon their information. Previously, residents had to go down to the local police station to make their report but the program is such a success that police believe a useful link on the SPVM’s website might encourage any citizens to file their complaints about illicit and illegal activity going on in the back streets of their neighborhood..

“We rarely have to lay charges,” said the SPVM officer who runs the Cyclops program. “All these guys are middle-aged married guys who live in the suburbs or on the west island and they don’t want any trouble. Usually a phone call does the trick and we never see them again.”

He asked The Metropolitain not to publish his name because of several ongoing investigations as well as to avoid any complications due to curious wives and girlfriends who might wonder why he wants to talk to their husband. Out of 2730 separate investigations sparked by a Cyclops report, he said the police report a miniscule recidivism rate of only 1.6 % per cent. 

While soaring taxes and a sick economy are carving a serious slice out of the city’s reputation as the “Casablanca of North America”, the city’s market for illicit sex is still doing well even if it’s off the streets and back in the closet.

“We don’t care if people want to get a bit on the side,” said The Metropolitain’s source. “We just don’t want to see them picking it up and paying for it on the streets near the schools or near the parks in front of the kids.”


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