Craigslist sex industry … hide in plain sight.
Police no longer need to focus on traditional surveillance methods against prostitution like checking out certain haunts, massage parlors, brothels and escort services. It seems these days they just need to surf the web on Craigslist.org. More than 70 arrests have been made this year in Nassau County, NY alone. Let alone other areas across the country. As one New York law official stated, “Craigslist has become the high-tech 42nd Street, where much of the solicitation takes place now.”
- Nassau County has made more than 70 arrests since it began focusing on Craigslist last year, one of numerous crackdowns by vice squads from Hawaii to New Hampshire that have lately been monitoring the Web site closely, sometimes placing decoy ads to catch would-be customers.
- In July raids, the sheriff of Cook County, Ill., rounded up 43 women working on the streets — and 60 who advertised on Craigslist. In Seattle, a covert police ad on Craigslist in November resulted in the arrests of 71 men, including a bank officer, a construction worker and a surgeon.
- And in Jacksonville, Fla., a single ad the police posted for three days in August netted 33 men, among them a teacher and a firefighter. “We got hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hits” in phone calls and e-mail messages, said John P. Hartley, the assistant chief sheriff there. (NY Times)
Craigslist seems to have become prostitutions favorite on-line ad space, even though their are other sites.
On one recent day, for example, some 9,000 listings were added to the site’s “Erotic Services” category (Warning: sexually explicit) in the New York region alone: Most offered massage and escorts, often hinting at more.
Law enforcement officials have accused Craigslist of enabling prostitution