Milan snaps at kerb crawlers

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The Independent Online
Milan (Reuter) - Milan's city council plans to crack down on prostitution by photographing clients' cars and sending them to the owners' homes with traffic tickets.

Councillors yesterday voted for the plan by 16 votes to 10, with six abstentions, with most support coming from the hard-right National Alliance (AN), whose leader in the council, Riccardo De Corato, had forwarded the candid-camera proposal.

Mayor Marco Formentini said the city would now look for ways to implement the plan, although he noted that an earlier initiative involving the surveillance of cars whose owners sought out prostitutes had been blocked by a court.

"If this is the will of the city council of Milan, we will move to set it into motion," Mr Formentini said. "The only thing left is to study how it will be carried out."

One opponent, an independent councillor, Paolo Hutter, who is aligned with the former Communist Democratic Party of the Left, said Milan would be ridiculed if it went ahead with the plan.

"Everyone in Italy will laugh at us," Mr Hutter said. "I've already spoken to attorneys, and the distribution of photos would violate privacy, honour and reputation." Mr De Corato has suggested that traffic police be given the job of photographing cars whose owners stop to seek out prostitutes. The police union said its members did not want the job.