The Prince George's County Council has unanimously voted to enact legislation that authorizes the Chief of Police to declare a "Prostitution-Free Zones" in the county.
Council member Andrea Harrison (D) - District 5, sponsor of the legislation, says the action was initiated out of concern for the public safety of the residents and children in District 5 plagued by the activity.
"Our communities along the District line have been plagued with cross-border criminal activity," Harrison said. "District of Columbia Council Member Yvette Alexander, who represents the border areas of Northeast and Southeast D.C. and I, along with our respective police departments, have been working to clean up some of the cross-border criminal activity which includes prostitution."
Harrison added that the new law provides police with another useful option in the county's overall strategy against crime, and mirrors legislation currently in effect in the District of Columbia. "Enacting this legislation is evidence that by working together we can rid our communities of nuisance behaviors and enable our residents to live in peace and safety," she said.
The bill, which went into effect Nov.15, makes it illegal for a group of two or more persons to congregate in a public space or property in an area for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or prostitution-related offenses.
Each "Prostitution-Free Zone" will last no more than 480 hours and any violators are subject to a fine of $1,000, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both.