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Call for police to target child prostitution

Friday, 24 June 2005

Dunne calls for police to target child prostitution

United Future leader Peter Dunne today called on the police in each of New Zealand's main cities to cancel their next traffic check point operation and assign the same number of officers for one evening to arresting men approaching child prostitutes on the streets.

"I want the police to forego revenue-gathering and put the same effort and energy into a crime against our children that is punishable by a seven-year prison sentence.

"Yet not a single man has been charged with this since the Prostitution Reform Act came into being nearly two years ago, and all the evidence shows that child prostitution has spiralled upwards since the Act came in," Mr Dunne said.

He said it is clear that the police and officialdom simply doesn't want to know about child prostitution.

"And that is inexcusable: it is selling some very vulnerable teenagers down the road - quite literally - and ruining young lives.

"Let's have some of these men who prey on our children put behind bars for seven years and then we'll see how many are out there kerb-crawling for young girls the following Friday night. It's time the men who abuse these children were targeted.

Mr Dunne was dismissive of the "so-called police strategy" of getting the teenagers off the street.

"I would believe that if it was actually happening, but it clearly is not. But that still keeps the focus off the abusers and that is where we need to place it.

"Some serious jail time for these perverts will scare plenty of others straight - and that is where we need to start. We need to get serious about looking after our young people," he said.

"So let's see the police spend less time worrying about $100 traffic offences and work on ending a crime against our kids."

ENDS

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