JUNE 29 UPDATE:
EXCLUSIVE: Perth police posed as street prostitutes to catch kerb crawlers, and as kerb crawlers to catch street prostitutes, but got more than they bargained for when engaged by unwitting police colleagues, a Corruption and Crime Commission report reveals.
The report, penned in 2012 but only released today, explains that, from 2004 to 2011, 12 undercover operations were conducted to bust street prostitutes and kerb crawlers.
In one operation, an undercover policewoman working for the Perth City Detectives street prostitution team targeted kerb crawlers for two days. The policewoman engaged men who stopped and spoke to her. Once agreements for sexual services were reached, other police moved in to arrest the kerb crawlers.
That operation netted 12 kerb crawlers.
In a second operation, an undercover policeman was deployed for a day. From his car, he made eyes at a woman who was standing in a phone box. She waved and approached the car, and an agreement for sexual services was reached. After a trip in the car to buy drugs, the street prostitute was arrested and charged with seeking a client and possessing heroin.
Kerb crawlers and street prostitutes were not the only parties caught up in the covert stings.
In an operation about which the CCC later questioned if a police officer had tried to procure a prostitute, a marked police car drove past an undercover policewoman twice before stopping on a third occasion about 7pm. The policeman stepped to the policewoman and spoke to her. A banal conversation ensued. The CCC report reveals the policeman may have said to the undercover police woman: “so I was looking for something”.
Some hours later, during the same operation, a motorist who appeared to be a plain clothes cop engaged the undercover policewoman in some more vapid dialogue and warned her that police were in the area.
The policewoman later told the CCC she was “kicking herself” afterwards and wished she had walked across the road to engage with the plain clothes officer.
“I was just so annoyed that a copper would do that, and I just, and that’s why I wished I had gone through and, maybe something would have happened …,” she told the CCC.
Both officers who approached the policewoman have reportedly been cleared of improper conduct.
Photo: Kay Chernush, Wikimedia Commons