Old Goucher Transgender Prostitute Problem

Last Update: 9:18 am

Prostitution is an on-going problem in parts of Baltimore, and in one neighborhood, a very specific kind of prostitution has become a serious concern.

People who live in the Old Goucher neighborhood say transgendered prostitutes flock to the area every night — and they say police aren’t doing enough to keep them out.

Old Goucher is just North of North Avenue. Baltimore’s main north-south streets — Charles and St. Paul — run right through the area. That provides plenty of potential customers for a transgendered prostitution trade.

Residents say the problem has gotten so big that it’s threatening to hold back progress in the neighborhood.

‘We believe that it’s a network,’ said Peter Duvall, vice-president of the Old Goucher Community Association. ‘They have several vehicles and phone connections.’

Residents wish they’d go somewhere else. But if they won’t, they wish they’d do their business a bit more peacefully. ‘The minimum that you can expect from a place to live is that you won’t be kept awake all night and at times we can’t provide that,’ Duvall said.

In addition to vehicles and phones, members of the community association say the transgendered prostitutes have handlers listening to police scanners, so they can disperse when they need to.

They say some of them aren’t even from Baltimore — the area is so well-known for this type of prostitution that men travel from Washington DC and Philadelphia to work there.

‘There have been several incidents of people thinking they’ve hired a woman and then finding out it was a man and the customer beating the prostitute up,’ Duvall said.

Police have done sting operations, catching prostitutes and their customers in the act. But residents say a more effective strategy would be a visible, constant police presence — and possibly surveillance cameras. ‘Everyone’s got to sleep and no one wants to have to fight through a crowd of prostitutes to get to their car in their morning to go to work, which does happen,’ Duvall said.

On Friday members of the community association plan to meet with police and members of City Council to discuss their concerns. Saturday, they’re holding a block party and fund-raiser to try to establish what they’re calling a prostitution free zone in the neighborhood.

Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Original at abc2news


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