“The badge number, time, address,etc. just makes it easier for me to find the officer and address any potential problems; like an officer unblinkingly violating a pooners* rights and outing him to his family.”
*Pooners = johns/punters
The conversation below is from prostitution website perb.cc. The thread was started by a man (username ‘Soenn’) who pays to use prostituted women and girls in British Columbia, Canada. In January of 2014, Soenn was caught in a brothel by a police officer who threatened to inform his family. Soenn asked for help on the forum, and received it from Susan Davis (‘susi’), who offered to intervene with Burnaby RCMP and Vancouver Police Department and updated the men on her progress.
Susan Davis is a Vancouver ‘sex worker’ activist, who includes among her credentials 2008-11 membership of the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group, described as ‘A collaborative action group connecting Vancouver Police, sex industry workers and community organizations to address safety concerns of sex workers’; and 2012-13 membership of the City of Vancouver Task Force on Sex Work and Sexual Exploitation.
One of the men thanking Susi is ‘Hatrick’, a man who uses prostituted women and girls in BC, many of whom are impoverished, homeless, drug-addicted and sometimes heavily pregnant. He is the subject of this post. Susan receives regular payment from men who profit from the sale of women. Johns also offer her financial contributions for her advocacy on their behalf. Here, Soenn offers to pay her bills if she will prevent the officer from contacting his family.
Soenn: Hi guys, I’m very desperate. Please help me. I came by one micro this afternoon and police found this place. I was still inside. I said I just came to see my friend. He scanned my driver license and said he is going to talk to my family about this. I’m very afraid of this situation. Can anyone recommend or suggest something? What is the best for this?? Thanks in advance!?
Susi: What city did this happen in? Vancouver?
Soenn: Yes! Vancouver.
Susi: Do you have the police officers badge number? Was he in uniform? Do you know why they were there? If you give me some more info I can prevent him from contacting anyone and get him into some trouble for violating the VPD’s new policy of adult consensual sex work not being a priority. Please PM me any info you have and let me work on it for you. They are not supposed to be doing this kind of thing but that does not mean they aren’t… Susie.
CJTylers: Your best bet is to work with Susie.
Soenn: Hi Susie, I don’t know his badge number and he was not in uniform. He knocked the door and show his licensed card I guess. He requested us to come out the room and he would ask just some question. I went out minutes later and he requested my driver license and asked me how much I paid. I said I came to see my friend and he scanned my driver license and told me go home and I asked him that he would call to me later. He said he is going to talk my family and my wife and I left. This is the whole story.
Susi: I need to know the time, address of the incall…this way I can pinpoint the officer before he does something. He is breaching their new policy. If there were no charges, if he was there on a complaint about noise…etc…he still has no grounds to scan your license. Maybe they were investigating something else, micros are still going to be targeted as they are businesses not operating from retail/commercial locations– even still he should not be threatening patrons in this kind of way. It is not VPD policy and he should not be going off half cocked undermining the trust building police are trying to accomplish with indoor SP’s (SP’s = ‘Service Providers’). Please pm me privately the details of where and when so it doesn’t cause the micro any problems. This way I can try to prevent your family from finding out. It was the same way for the LGTB community. the police reports about busting glory holes would read like ” married men being lured by gay men” and shit like that… its the bias of the individual officer…they get into trouble for it though….
Soenn: I sent PM to you
HunkyBill: I heard that. VPD wasn’t going to be wasting their time with this. any more. Susi, can you post some info on what people should do if they get in this situation nowadays?
Susi: Yes, I have to go and do something right now but will try to get it sorted out asap and report back here.
Soenn: Thank you million times. I have a lady’s phone number if you want. Let me know..
Susi: Ok, so this micro is in Burnaby which is policed by the RCMP. If it was inside the city and under the Vancouver police, I could do something but in Burnaby it’s a different story. I will still call and try to do what I can but I don’t have the contacts I have with VPD and the RCMP do not have a policy like the city of Vancouver do. I know it seems crazy to have rules so different only a few blocks apart but that’s what is going on. The RCMP have recently formed a human trafficking task force and are out to look like they are doing something about exploitation in the sex industry. I am working on a way we can promote the work and approach taken here in Vancouver to other municipalities but so far, I simply don’t have time, resources or even a a ride to get me out visit these other cities…I did meet with Surrey RCMP and organizations a couple of times but again, I cant stretch myself to thin or I can’t pay my bills.
I will make some telephone inquiries and see what I can do. Love susie
Susi: I am on hold with the RCMP……
Soenn: Thank you for all your efforts. Susie! As I sent PM, if you have to move, let me know. I can offer a ride or pay your bills. I asked some lawyers and they said it is weird that RCMP will try to talk to my family. They said I don’t have to be cooperated with them and I might get the order from the court. Otherwise, nothing will be taken a action by them until then. I have no idea what RCMP will do to me. What can I expect next? Sorry for bothering a lot.
SFMIKE: Something seems to be not right about this. Maybe I missed something, but the OP made it sound like there was only one officer in the bust. That would be most unusual. And, what is this “Licensed card” that said police officer showed?
Soenn: SFMIKE! I only saw one officer. Is it unusual? I didn’t see the card thing. One of SP’s in the home have a look through door hole, she said that he stand out there holding something like card not the badge in one hand and showed it to the door. I guess that is the something means police.
Tim McGee: Sorry if this hijacks the thread: How likely is it that the Foxden (also in Burnaby, not Vancouver) gets stung? Knock on wood, but it hasn’t happened to me yet when I’ve been in there. Thanks. Respectfully, Timmy
Susi: Ok, I spoke to the watch commander and he was really nice. he was not on duty when the incident happened but said he would find out who was and who the officer was who scanned your ID. I explained the situation and why it was unacceptable explaining who I was, my membership on the city of Vancouver Task Force, contribution to non-enofrcement policies at the VPD and how I testified to the missing women’s commission. I told him that in lieu of the forsaken report, we should be building trust and not undermining work to increase safety of sex workers…
He said he would have the commander who was on duty phone me to discuss what had happened and also said they would identify the officer and talk to him about his actions being harmful. I also discussed enforcement of laws which have been struck down and how there needs to be careful consideration before enforcing them anymore in light of the missing and murdered women. That’s all I have for now, I will continue to communicate with them until I hear he has been instructed to not inform your family. I know it sucks but we just have to wait and hope now.
As for the Fox Den, I think its less likely but who knows. massage parlours are being targeted in Montreal right now…they have a business license though and are not a micro. because migrant workers are more hidden working in these kind of under ground places (a result of raids against 63 amp’s before the Olympics and deportations) their working conditions are suspect so they are easy targets. I feel the conversation I had with them was respectful and productive so I will try to continue and work towards balancing policing down the lower mainland at least. I can do a lot via phone calls….
Tim McGee: @susi Thank you for your quick and respectful reply.
I DO know this: The women who work at the Foxden HAVE to have a license. And, of course the Den itself has to have a business license. So hopefully if they come in, they’ll just make sure everybody’s 19 or older. Most of these women are Canadian-born and are doing this consensually (not migrant, or trafficked).
Maybe people will laugh at me (which is ok), or empathize: Once when about to enter the Den, I saw an RCMP half a block West, on foot, but I think he was trying to get red-light runners at the Kingsway and Suffolk intersection (that leads into the Metrotown garage).
Hatrick: I think the threat to call your wife was just to intimidate you, I have had several encounters with younger LE members who threatened the same to me. I told them to go ahead I didn’t give a shit, it never happened but I have wracked up a sizeable stack of Dear John letters. Some cops seem to be more rabid than others but they need proof so never admit to anything.
Tim McGee: @Hatrick There’s that key word again: “Scare.” And, I hope that’s all it is. Of course (and I don’t mean this facetiously), if one’s doing it out in the public, naked with the woman in Oppenheimer Park, well, that’s a different story. Just like, I hope, if I’m ever in the Den during a sting, the police may chew me out, but hopefully it’s “just a chewing out.” Respectfully, Timmy
way.tomuch: I like Hatrick’s advice… oh and never never give a statement to a cop ,,, that’s what your lawyer is for, tell them a statement is coming …
yazoo: What’s in a Dear John letter? Is it just a please don’t feed the ducks type argument, intimidation, or something else? Also who is it from – LE, the city, some other organization? Sorry if it hijacks the thread… …just really curious
UhOh: That should be in bold, never never never give a statement to a cop before talking to a lawyer.
Tim McGee: How does “Probable Cause” factor into the hobby? (again, unless one’s doing it right out there in the public open). I’m not equating the hobby with a heinous crime like theft, drugs, or even murder, but I’ve seen true crime stories where it was SO hard to get Probable Cause on a suspect, to even get a search warrant. My point is, I hope that since the hobby is so petty in comparison, that Probable Cause will be harder to get. Then again, my hunch is, “the less heinous the crime, the easier it is to get a warrant for Probable Cause.” I’m just paranoid, that’s all. Respectfully, Timmy
Soenn: Thank you for all your advice. I hope he just intimidated me. He didn’t say anything except “go home” and when I asked he would call me later, then he said he would talk to my family. Also, the lawyer wondered why he want to talk to my family, but I’m still scared. I will bring the letter to the lawyer when I get it and never never give a statement to a cop. Does anyone know how fast I get a letter? If I get the letter, do I have a bad record affect my life? Thanks a lot! Soenn
wiinky: I don’t pretend to know what’s going on here, but allow me to make a wild-ass guess.
Neighbors effectively report a nuisance. LE lights the place up, shames patrons, formally introduces themselves to Micro staff, all parties involved agree its not a cool place to be … nuisance solved. Never mind proving anything in Court … this Civil Forfeiture thing is enough to get any operators attention.
VanessaofBC: I thought it was unusual when you said there was only one cop there. It made me wonder if it was a real cop, to be honest with you.
Hatrick: http://bccla.org/our_work/comments-o…-disc-program/ The DISC program and dear John letters are part of the system, you are in it if he scanned your ID, don’t worry about it the whole thing is very vague. A dear John letter is addressed to you and asks for your cooperation combating prostitution, it’s all to intimidate. Fuck em, you pays your $ you takes your chances. More info: http://www.jhscso.bc.ca/programs/popbc.html
Soenn: Hi All, Thank you for all your advice and concerns. It turn out he is a fake police. Shit! I feel safe except my personal information was exposed. Dear Susie, thank you for all your efforts and times. If you need any help from me, please let me know. Thanks, Soenn
wiinky: Why do I think that the ‘fake police’ at the door where the same who started this thread ?
Susi: Ok people, for the record it was a real police officer and it was not a negative visit. there is no investigation and I spoke to the officer involved who assured me he will not be contacting soenn for any reason nor will he be contacting his family. He was really nice and was sorry for the confusion. Susie
badbadboy: So Susie. I take it when confronted with this sort of situation we are to become vigilant about getting their badge number and their reason for their intervention at a private residence? My first inclination would be not to cooperate and demand an explanation about why they are actually visiting the residence. If we are “visiting a friend”, how could they involve our family and divulge any information? Isn’t divulging any personal information prejudicial to any pending case against you? Would the Crown not look upon this a a “tainted case”?
Susi: The badge number, time, address,etc. just makes it easier for me to find the officer and address any potential problems; like an officer unblinkingly violating a pooners rights and outing him to his family. We need to work on communicating with police departments and ensure they understand what is expected and what has been shown to a best practise in these cases. In this case it worked out and we located him before anything happened. the police I spoke to today – 3 separate officers – “forgot” that prostitution had been decriminalized* (*prostitution had not been decriminalized – see footnote). it was nice to hear their tones change.
I am unsure how crown would view it but you may have a point, it could be prejudicial. Maybe someone with crown experience could pipe in here? It seems like there’s a little lag time between the laws coming down and police understanding what it means. they were all really nice and polite though and I don’t think we’re looking at increased enforcement here in the lower mainland.
badbadboy: Thank you. I think it is important since we are now in some sort of Grey Area where the Government is now charged with coming up with a new set of laws that we also be informed as to what our rights are and how to deal with Law Enforcement who are not aware of our rights and how they are able to deal with us.
Tim McGee: I thought that the OP, since he (to my knowledge) wasn’t soliciting in a PUBLIC place, he wasn’t breaking any laws? The laws, past and present, and likely future, are said to be very confusing and frustrating to understand. Timmy
Peaceguy: Communicating for the purposes of prostitution in a public place is one of the legal provisions overturned by the SCC. Being found in a common bawdy house is another, also overturned in the Bedford decision, and the likely grounds for the RCMP actions in the incident. A common bawdy house, as the law is written, is pretty much any place that is repeatedly used for acts of prostitution. This definition will likely need to be changed so as to pass a Charter of Rights and Freedom challenge of any revised law the Govt. may care to enact.
HunkyBill: In non legalize please.
allhorsesaresamecolour: I will summarize what he wrote in simple language so the average pooner reading this will understand. There was recently a ruling in the best court in Canada which found that 1)talking to prostitutes in public should not be illegal 2)being found in house used by prostitutes should not be illegal. Before the best court in Canada made this decision, both 1 and 2 were illegal. So now the law is that doing any of these is not illegal.
vancity_cowboy: take the time to learn legalese, bill – there’s just no substitute for getting it right🙂
hornygandalf: Susi deserves our heartfelt thanks for the advocacy work she does on behalf of the ladies, but also us, the clients. Thank you Susi. She also deserves more than that, and that is financial support for the stellar and very important work she is doing. There is another thread where the suggestion is made that there should be a structure or means to give her support. I would encourage all the gentleman here to consider providing financial support for Suzi as well. There is a bigger fight afoot that will affect the operations of this industry in the years ahead. The current situation is only temporary, and if we don’t want the industry made illegal and forced underground, then there will need to be significant to support for Suzi and her colleagues advocating for a better and safer legal regime.
Hatrick: Thanks Susi, guess I should ready the Trickmachine for an awesome cruisin’ season, it’s legal to pick up Ho’s on the streets. now, Yahoo!
Westcoast555: Am I correct in understanding that unless you are being arrested or detained you can politely refuse to provide ID and leave? You are legally required to produce ID only if: 1) You are operating a motor vehicle 2) You are in an establishment where liquor is being served. Is that correct? My inclination would be to politely remind the officer that you are not required to produce ID and that unless you are under arrest you would like to leave. Is that your understanding as well?
Twotip: I always thought it was in your best interest to be honest with the police?
bcneil: I leave my ID in the car, bring a spare wallet with cash only. I’ve never had an SP ask me to prove I am over 19, so I don’t see the point in the risk.
badbadboy: I was talking to an old friend who at that time was “affiliated” with some other bad guys. When he had left, I was confronted by undercover VPD and they demanded my ID. I refused and they stated my choice was being charged with”obstruction of justice” or showing them the ID. At the time I did not need any trouble brought my way so I gave up the ID as requested.
yagamiii: Hey susi, A buddy of mine was just caught by RCMP going down on an SP in a well known Burnaby massage parlor. He was so scared he gave up his ID to the officers. He said the cops didn’t charge him with anything, scanned everyone’s ids, and left. he’s still scared he might get outed. Does he have anything to fear? Is it gonna appear on any record that he was there? He’s now thinking of moving lol.
Susi: Can you tell me in a private message which parlor and what day/time? I will call and inquire about why they took action and the purpose of the ID checks….. I don’t think he has anything to fear. generally they check id to see if anyone present is a known criminal or human trafficker/ organized crime. that would be as far as it goes. I am feeling that these kinds of intrusions into our work spaces are a real problem. ….it doesn’t happen in Vancouver but its like the RCMP are conducting “business as usual”….Please message me and tell me what you can about what happened….
rs604: Hi Susie, first of all, we would like to thank you for all the work and info. I guess I’ll just ask one question for all fellow pooners. Let’s say this happens in Burnaby. When LE come and ask for IDs, can we politely decline? Or do we get in trouble if we refuse to give our ID? What’s the correct protocol? Thanks -rs
*In December 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada had recently struck down Canada’s remaining prostitution laws, giving the government one year to create new legislation (which it did, in the form of Bill C36). However, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling and Vancouver Police Department’s own ‘not-an-enforcement-priority’ policy, the prostitution laws remained effective at the time of Soenn’s post.