The Houston Police Department yesterday ended a prostitution sting by identifying 64 men who went to a fake business and agreed to buy sex from undercover officers. They were all charged with prostitution, which carries up to a year in jail and as much as a $2,000 fine, says the Houston Chronicle. The sting, was intended to cut into the city’s burgeoning sex trafficking trade, which often involves underage girls and women forced into prostitution. “Prostitution is not a victimless crime,” said police Capt. Dan Harris, head of the vice division. “It fuels the sex trafficking trade.”
A manpower study said that in 2013, the police department did not investigate 21,000 burglaries, assaults and hit-and-run accidents with workable leads. Some residents questioned the use of limited resources to arrest low-level offenders. “Honestly, I think they should be going after burglars, people who are breaking into cars,” said Kafayat Ayodele. “Last year I went into a bank across the street, and there was a smash and grab. They broke into my car, took my purse, and I called police, and it took them almost three hours to get here.” Khanh Nguyen, a local real estate investor who said his home has been repeatedly burglarized, believes Houston police should focus on violent criminals including purse snatchers who target female Asian shoppers at the mall where the sting was conducted.