On Thursday, May 16th, the Tigard Police Criminal Investigations Unit conducted an operation to target and arrest prostitution customers. As a result, five men were taken into custody after patronizing a prostitute for services.
The operation took place throughout the afternoon and early evening. Several Tigard Police detectives, along with patrol officers converged on a Tigard area hotel. Over the past year, numerous Tigard businesses have contacted police to express their frustration and concerns about suspected prostitution operating out of their businesses, hotels being the most impacted. In response to their needs, Tigard Police began to place focus on the crimes of prostitution which has moved into the 21st century, along with most other criminal ventures.
The criminal acts of prostitution are mostly arranged beforehand using websites.
Over the past 18 months, the Tigard Police conducted a probe which resulted in numerous arrests of subjects advertising the sale of sexual services.
Investigators felt it also important to direct efforts to simultaneously combat the customers of prostitution services. In terms of the actual operation last week, over 75 calls were received from interested "johns" within 24 hours of placing two online listings advertising prostitution services.
Another key driving force behind the operation is reinforcing the fact that prostitution is not a victimless crime. The numbers are staggering regarding victims compelled into prostitution, now more likely to be connected to human trafficking. Maintaining a zero tolerance policy regarding prostitution is one way to help draw attention to this criminal venture and possibly prevent the vulnerable for entering into this
Tigard Police plan to conduct additional operations.