A new government-sponsored report on America’s sex industry has revealed how pimps and escorts avoid detection by cops these days.
The report by the Urban Institute analyses information on the trade in eight cities: Miami, Dallas, Washington, Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Atlanta, and Kansas City, Mo.
Owners of escort services (essentially high-end prostitution services) structure their business carefully, keeping meticulous books and investing in shell companies or real estate, according to the report.
“We filed taxes and opened a business account … It was an escort service that allowed for massage and strip tease, but it was the acts of prostitution that made it illegal. We had them sign contracts [that included prohibitions against prostitution], but we turned our heads,” one person affiliated with an escort service explained in the report.
Unlike any other street prostitutes, escort services actually use credit cards and often keep most of their money on the books, essentially hiding from law enforcement in plain sight. They also use sophisticated tactics to avoid police.
“In order to evade law enforcement detection, they run counter surveillance,” the report said. According to one law enforcement officer quoted in that report, there is a website called “Rate a Cop” for escort services to keep tabs on police who might be trying to root out their operations.
Prostitutes are also trained to suss out possible sting operations by proactively attempting to identify law enforcement prior to committing incriminating transactions.
Asking directly if they are the police
Watching customer’s body language, movement, and appearance for suspicious or nervous behaviour
Describing all actions taken by customers aloud so that, should a police officer do something inappropriate during a sting operation, it is recorded and usable in court.
Actively pushing police during a sting to do something they aren’t supposed to do
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