Condoms seized from (suspected) prostitutes will now be returned to them, along with other personal items, once they are released from custody. However, those confiscated in more serious crimes involving sex trafficking and promoting prostitution may be retained as evidence according to a new policy adopted by the NYPD.
"I think it is the right thing to do and I applaud the police department's new operating plan. A policy that actually inhibits people from safe sex is a mistake. It is dangerous, and there is a number of ways to put together evidence," commented New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during an unrelated press conference.
In the meantime, police Commissioner Bill Bratton explained that the new policy change "is a reasonable approach to targeting the community most at risk as it related to safer sexual practices, and continuing to build strong cases against the vast criminal enterprise associated with prostitution."
The move was also lauded by the Condom Coalition (a collective of non-profit groups who assist sex worker advocates and among those encouraging prostitutes of both sexes to use protection as a major way of preventing the spread of STD, including HIV/AIDS, among heterosexual and homosexual communities, especially those who engage in sex with multiple partners.