Madrid installs video cameras to combat prostitution

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The Spanish capital Madrid has installed video cameras to combat prostitution in the city centre, press reports said Tuesday.

26 February 2008

MADRID - The Spanish capital Madrid has installed video cameras to combat prostitution in the city centre, press reports said Tuesday.

About 30 cameras are filming events on a street frequented by prostitutes and their clients for 24 hours daily.

Officially, the cameras help police fight crime, but the city authorities are also targeting the sex trade carried out by women from Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa.

The number of men seeking out prostitutes went down on Monday when the cameras began functioning, but it was unclear whether the measure would have any long-term effect, reports said.

Some prostitutes said the cameras made them feel safer while others expressed concern that the images would lead to their families finding out that they were sex workers.

Local business owners and residents, who had complained about the presence of the prostitutes, were usually happy with the measure.

Spanish legislation leaves prostitution in a legal vacuum, prompting municipalities around the country to adopt various measures to regulate the trade, the daily El Pais reported.

Municipalities in the Madrid region are increasingly using cameras to control traffic and to combat crime, according to the daily.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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