They troll the street day and night, sometimes harassing citizens, setting up robberies or using drugs. As a sign of neighborhood degradation, street-corner prostitution is difficult to stop, says the Indianapolis Star. “And they do whatever they do, wherever they can,” said Renee Lynch, president of the Brookside Neighborhood Association. “They'll go in an alley, a vacant parking lot, an abandoned car.” With that in mind, Indianapolis police blitzed streetwalkers and their customers this week as part of plan to tamp down violence this summer. Detectives arrested 17 people.
The vice sweeps are intended to get large neighborhood benefits from cracking down on relatively minor crimes. Often called the “broken windows” strategy, its aim is to make small improvements on issues that demoralize residents with the expectation that larger upgrades will follow. “We are responding directly to complaints from from the community, and prostitution is one of those we hear the most,” said police spokesman Lt. Christopher Bailey. “This gets directly at 'quality-of-life' issues that citizens care about.” Cracking down on such neighborhood nuisances will be part of a larger “Summer Violence” plan to be announced today by Mayor Greg Ballard and Police Chief Rick Hite.