More than 400 charges were laid during a two-week project targeting crime in a west-end Toronto neighbourhood, police announced Tuesday.

Police said arrests in the area, between Dupont Street and College Street from Lansdowne Avenue to Dufferin Street, skyrocketed by 79 per cent during the operation.

Also, the number of crimes reported fell by 41 per cent during the crackdown, known as Project BLT, police said.

During the two weeks, police focused on cracking down on illegal drugs, break-and-enters and problem bars.

Police said they also focused on prostitution, which people who live in the neighbourhood identified as a significant problem.

Resident complained "johns", including construction workers on the way to work, were engaging prostitutes for sex during the morning and evening rush hours.

Police said during the operation, plainclothes officers arrested a number of prostitutes one day during afternoon rush hour -- only to find many of the same women back at work, at the same location, for morning rush hour the next day.

Boundary conditions were then imposed, banning the repeat offenders from the area, police said.

In total, police laid:

  • 103 drug-related charges;
  • 44 prostitution charges;
  • 257 Highway Traffic Act and By-law Offences; and
  • 20 Liquor Licence Act Offences.

Traffic services officers, the drug squad, parking control units and special constables from the TTC all participated in the project.