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Bologna Institutional Affairs Councillor Libero Mancuso believes concentrating the sex trade in certain areas will make it easier for police to control crimes linked to it. He argued it would make it easier for the city's social and health services to assist the prostitutes too. The idea has drawn fire from councillors in Bologna and in other parts of Italy. Mancuso counters that his proposal would not create ghettoes, because the rotation system would stop the areas used becoming full-blown red-light districts.
He said he was surprised at the furore his proposal had caused, in part because a similar system is being experimented in the city of Mestre, near Venice. The Vatican and Interior Minister Giuliano Amato have said Italy should consider following Sweden's lead and target clients instead of prostitutes. Under a law passed in , loitering or soliciting clients is not a crime in Sweden, but paying for sex on or off the street is.
Since the law was introduced, the number of women involved in street prostitution there has declined. The northern town of Alessandria moved in this direction on Friday by introducing stiffer fines for curb-crawlers. At the moment only the exploitation of prostitution -pimping - is a criminal offence in Italy.