‘Red Light’ Districts Raid: Cops Target Human Traffickers NOT Prostitutes

Ripon Road, Eureka Road, Eureka Crescent, and sections of Old Hope Road in Cross Roads are highlighted as the Corporate Area’s most notorious ‘red light’ districts.

This was the scene of a massive police operation on Saturday as law enforcers went in search of human traffickers and their victims.

Thirty-four people were taken into custody by police from the St Andrew Central Police Division during the operation which started about 9:30 pm in the area which is known for prostitution.

Police told that 22 men and 12 women were taken into custody but they were all released after given “strong warnings”. The operation was led by Superintendent William Kessler, head of operations for the St Andrew Central Police Division. “They were not charged. They were just taken in, questioned, released and warned about the practice.

A number of offensive weapons were also confiscated. Based on the fact that we never found anybody who we thought was at risk, it means that none of them were involved in human trafficking,” Kessler told the media.

People detained on the Ripon Road red light district are seen in this police bus. “Those areas were specifically targeted. Those areas are where the females are, and the males come in to do business and sometimes when there are disputes, there are shootings and murders,” Kessler said, pointing out that some of the 12 women were pregnant.

“They were able to show us their babyfathers in the line. For example, they would say, ‘The one that is second in the line, a him a mi babyfather.’ For some reason, they are out there transacting business.

The females continue to work while they are pregnant and when a certain customer comes and transacts business, males come in who might have a firearm or knife, and that is how we get some of the murders or serious incidents,” added Kessler.

While none of the people taken into custody was charged, Jamaica’s National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Diahann Gordon Harrison commended the police for their action.

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