The police of the California city of Richmond are waging a social media war against prostitution…one that fans of “pet shaming” pictures on Facebook will recognize.

When a man is caught soliciting a prostitute, the punishment police hand out is usually far less than what they will find at home when their wife or girlfriend find out.

So police in California are using the tactic of shaming Johns by posting their pictures online, in hopes the embarrassment being shared with the public will be enough to curb prostitution.

It appears that the tactic is meeting with initial success. In a video report from KTVU Channel 10 News, Jim Sciarroni, who owns an auto body shop near a hot-spot for prostitution, says that since the department started posting the pictures on their Facebook page: “Traffic has slowed down, there’s very few that come by here during the day. The traffic on Ohio has quieted down.”

Local news has this video report:

Since the “Internet never forgets”, defense attorneys are already expressing legal concerns.

‘What happens when charges are dismissed or acquitted? Will their mug shots live on in a Google cache for years, only to be discovered by neighbors, employers and family members years later?’ San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi asked SFGate. ‘Once information is made available on the Internet, it is captured and recaptured, so it is never erasable.’

San Francisco resident Giovanni Avila, 47, was one of 11 men busted Thursday for soliciting undercover cops and he claims he’s innocent.

He was driving with a friend to get tacos when they started chatting up the women and talking sex, but says he had no intention of actually going through with any of it.

‘They may catch some guys that do that every day, but then again, they might catch another guy that was not planning on doing that and never has done that before,’ he said. ‘I think it’s an invasion of privacy. That could hurt some people’s lives and way of living.

However, nothing succeeds like success. Business owners in the area are happy with the results. Now, let’s hope California’s bureaucrats come up with equally creative ways to solve the rest of our state’s problems.

[Featured Image – KTVU Video]