Working off a roster of the reputed 50 “most prolific prostitutes” in Las Vegas, police and prosecutors are taking unprecedented steps to keep repeat prostitution offenders off the Strip, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Some are criticizing the crackdown as overly aggressive. It comes at a time when some policymakers are talking about eventually legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution in the Las Vegas Valley. The Vice Enforcement Top Offenders (VETO) list, which took the vice unit two years to compile, has the names of women with the longest prostitution-related criminal records in Clark County, said Lt. Karen Hughes. Within days of launching the crackdown, police over Super Bowl weekend arrested 13 of the women on charges of soliciting prostitution, loitering for the purposes of prostitution, or trespassing.
Hughes said it is time to stop the revolving door of prostitution-related arrests, especially when those arrests involve “trick rolls,” in which prostitutes steal from men. Barbara Brents, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is surprised that law enforcement would focus so heavily on cracking down on prostitution. “It seems pretty hypocritical to me to have an economy based on sexualizing women and then to come down on the women when police want to make it seem like they’re enforcing the law,” she said. “It’s coming down on women who are least able to fight back.”