Police in Maryland will live-tweet a prostitution sting next week according to ABC News. The Prince George Police Department plans to share all kinds of information with the public from “ads to arrests.” While the PGPD has encouraged people to follow along and tweet using the hashtag #PGPDVice, the idea has been met with a fair share of criticism. Some believe that live-tweeting a prostitution sting violates human rights.
Even still, the police department defended its decision:
“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. Our Vice Unit regularly helps trafficked women connect with groups and advocates who help them escape the dangerous sex trade.”
While police live-tweet the prostitution sting, some females might face traumatic exploitation, which is what many critics are worried about.
Brandon Bouchard from Polaris Project, a nonprofit group that works to help prevent sex trafficking, explained:
“Many sex trafficking victims have faced traumatic exploitation by their pimps and traffickers, and law enforcement should take measures to avoid even greater trauma during raids and arrests. Sex trafficking is complex, and law enforcement should ensure that victim-witness coordinators are present to assess for human trafficking because we know that many adults engaged in commercial sex were forced or became involved as children. Rather than publicizing real-time actions, we encourage law enforcement agencies to increase their focus on protecting victims.”
Police made the decision to live-tweet the prostitution sting because they felt that the public was really curious about how things like that go down. According to USA Today, department spokeswoman Julie Parker says that the police are using Twitter as a way to be transparent. The information that will be tweeted would become public information anyway, once an arrest is made. However, there is a fine line between being “transparent” and “sensationalizing” something so serious.
Sometimes social media can be a helpful tool for police officers. As previously pointed out by Inquisitr.com,Boston Police used Twitter to notify the public about what was going on in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings back in 2013. For many, live-tweeting a prostitution sting and giving the public important safety information are two very different things.
Do you think police should live-tweet the prostitution sting? Is this something that you’d be interested in or do you think that it violates human rights?
[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]