What are police doing about escort services?

YOU ASKED:When will the police get around to shutting down the telephone brothels running in Kamloops? We saw a lot of fancy operations against the street workers while ignoring the companies that advertise on Craigslist and in the newspaper classifieds. No one believes people pay hundreds of dollars for an escort so he can take her out for dinner.

- Sergie Velovich

OUR ANSWER:That's a fair question, Sergie, and the police have a fair answer. According to Staff Sgt. Grant Learned, it comes down to the RCMP's ability to prove a crime's been committed.

"You're basically hiring someone to be your escort, to go out somewhere. That component in itself is not illegal," said Learned.

If a romantic interlude takes place, it's difficult for police to prove if the act was prearranged and illegal or happened to take place naturally. He said prostitution is a visible, street-level crime, which makes it easier for police to act upon.

Learned said police need to provide the Crown with proof of a crime. Without a complaint or hard evidence that one has occurred, it's difficult to launch an investigation.

"We're aware of the escort services and what can happen, but we're also aware of the difficulty of trying to establish a case," he said. "Unless something specifically comes up, it wouldn't be something we'd be out actively trying to pursue."

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