Cops target Super Bowl call girls

PHOENIX Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:00pm EST

Members of Cirque du Soleil take the field during the pre-game show at the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami, Florida, February 4, 2007. Phoenix Police said on Friday they have teamed up with the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies to crackdown on sex workers heading to the city for the National Football League's championship clash on February 3. REUTERS/Charles W Luzier

Members of Cirque du Soleil take the field during the pre-game show at the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami, Florida, February 4, 2007. Phoenix Police said on Friday they have teamed up with the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies to crackdown on sex workers heading to the city for the National Football League's championship clash on February 3.

Credit: Reuters/Charles W Luzier

PHOENIX (Reuters Life!) - Call girls flocking to Phoenix to make some money from fans at next month's Super Bowl party in Phoenix, are being warned off by police.

Phoenix Police said on Friday they have teamed up with the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies to crackdown on sex workers heading to the city for the National Football League's championship clash on February 3.

Sergeant Joel Tranter said officers will be working undercover to arrest call girls working in hotels, prostitutes working street corners, and sex workers advertising services on the Internet ahead of the bash.

"If you want to come to Phoenix and join in the party, welcome to Phoenix," Tranter told Reuters.

"If you are a part of that very small criminal element that wants to come here and set up prostitution operations, we're warning you right now: don't do it," he added.

The Super Bowl is the biggest event in the sporting calendar, and is usually the biggest television event of the year.

Organizers expect to draw tens of thousands of visitors from out of state for the match, held this year at the 73,000-seat University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Prostitutes are known to travel the sporting circuit, although Tranter had no estimate of the numbers of sex workers headed to Arizona ahead of the event.

He warned that clients using prostitutes also faced arrest, and stiff penalties including 15 days in jail for a first offense and monetary fines.

"That doesn't even count the embarrassment to the families," he said.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor, editing by Patricia Reaney)