UK & World News
Prostitution Sting To Be Live-Tweeted By Police
A police force has been criticised after promising to live-tweet a prostitution sting next week.
Officers in Maryland say they will "take you along for the takedowns" as they target people who use sex workers in Prince George County.
The names and photographs of suspects will be tweeted as they are arrested.
Twitter users will be able to follow their progress by following a special hashtag and the county police's Twitter feed, which has more than 10,000 followers.
A blog post on the department's website read: "From the ads to the arrests, we'll show you how (we are) battling the oldest profession."
It added: "We won't tell you when or where, other than it's somewhere in the county sometime next week."
It is believed to be the first time a police force has used social media to provide live updates on a prostitution crackdown.
But the move has been criticised by a charity that works closely with sex workers.
Cyndee Clay, executive director of Washington DC-based organisation Hips said: "Shame and arrest often only perpetuates people entrapment in prostitution or sex work, as research has shown, by creating a revolving door of incarceration, and there is little to no evidence that they end demand."
The police department later released a statement emphasising the sting was aimed at the customers of prostitutes, rather than the sex workers themselves.
It said: "Our Vice Unit will target those who choose to solicit a prostitute, not prostitutes themselves."