Vice Squad
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Security Cameras Moving Singapore's Prostitution Trade

There are some legal brothels in Singapore, but some illicit streetwalking takes place nonetheless, of course. Now security cameras have been set up in some of the usual spots, and they seem to have been effective at relocating the prostitution trade. But they have had an unintended effect, too -- instead of being a boon to "legitimate" businesses in the (former?) red light areas by keeping away the riff-raff, the cameras are scaring away custom:
The men are staying away because they're afraid of being misunderstood by their wives, while our women customers are staying away because they don't want to be mistaken as prostitutes," Joyce Low, who runs an acupuncture and foot reflexology business in the area, was quoted as saying.

The manager of a clothing store, Simon Chan, also said business had been affected with sales down by 60 percent.
Thanks to one of my generous students for the pointer. On security cameras more generally, Scott at Grits For Breakfast explains why they don't seem to reduce crime.

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