Complaints about noise and disorder from street prostitutes, their associates and clients have seen police swoop in to arrest 14 people in Christchurch.

Police said the weekend operation on Manchester St was a response to residents concerns about disorder in an area used by sex workers.

Acting Central Area commander Inspector Al Stewart said most of the people arrested had outstanding warrants, while some were charged over behavioural offences or dishonesty.

He said the operation was about combating disorderly behaviour rather than cracking down on prostitution.


"There is always an element attached to prostitution that causes public concern, whether it is their general activity itself or the behaviour of some of their minders or clients.

"While the services being offered on Manchester Street are legal, some of the behaviour by associates of the prostitutes, which can be intimidating and offensive in nature, is not."

Police would continue to monitor the Manchester St area over the next few weeks, Mr Stewart said.

- Herald Online staff