January is recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In support of the national recognition, the Seabrook Police Department and the Webster Police Department conducted a joint operation. The task force conducted a reverse prostitution investigation in various undisclosed locations in their respective jurisdictions. The operation focused on prostitution, as many victims of human trafficking are used as prostitutes. The targets of the investigation were those that attempt to solicit prostitutes.
Individuals that solicit prostitutes perpetuate the demand for sex workers, which then leads to an increase in human trafficking.
The undercover operation utilized undercover female and male officers. Officers placed ads on websites that are commonly used to conduct online solicitation. The Seabrook and Webster Police Department operation resulted in over 25 arrests. The suspects were charged by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Of the suspects arrested:
- 24 males were arrested for prostitution by a female officer
- 1 female was arrested for prostitution by a male officer and a felony drug possession.
Prostitution is a public safety concern for the community as the activity involves other associated criminal activity such as assaults and illegal drug use. The joint operation was a proactive attempt to curtail prostitution and human trafficking. This operation made suspects aware that if individuals did not engage in the illegal activity of prostitution the victimization and the threat to public safety would be greatly reduced.