Persistent Prostitution: the efforts of law enforcement to clean up SETX streets

"I'm a lady of the evening, I've been uh, it's hard to say, over 30 years." It's a line of work that women are sometimes forced to take. For this mother of two who will remain anonymous, selling her body is the easiest way, to make some much-needed money.

BEAUMONT - “I’m a lady of the evening, I’ve been uh, it’s hard to say, over 30 years.” It’s a line of work that women are sometimes forced to take. For this mother of two who will remain anonymous, selling her body is the easiest way, to make some much-needed money.

“My bills, that’s what drives me, I have no child support. I just need the extra money, to pay my bills, it’s hard out here for a single woman. It’s really hard. You’d be surprised how many women are out here.”

While the crime is difficult to track, law enforcement hopes to continue taking these women off the streets.

The most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows prostitution arrests have decreased around the country by 32 percent within a four-year span.

Here in Beaumont, 207 calls for service have been placed for prostitution this year alone.

One area reporting the most activity is in the 11th Street and I-10 area, where 41 calls came in.

Beaumont Police made 16 arrests this year, including nine women from one sting operation in October.

The community remains vigilant in making calls, but arrests have decreased by 60 percent within the last three years.

Beaumont Police believes getting these women off the streets and offering help through rehabilitation programs, is crucial.

“I would disagree that it’s a victimless crime because a lot of these women are addicted to drugs or have suffered from a life of abuse and dysfunction,” Officer Haley Morrow said.

Some women are at the mercy of their employer, and that could lead to severe consequences.

“They can also become victims of violent crimes or things like that because of the areas they’re in and because of the lifestyle they’re choosing to live,” Officer Morrow said.

However, police expect prostitution to persist but will do their best to ensure the safety of the community and anyone tied to the perverse profession.

“Once you get into that cycle, it’s hard to break it. So it takes a joint effort and when sometimes we do these stings and get them arrested, at least it gets them off the streets whether it’s in the jail to detox or something to that effect, that can be the first step on the road to hopefully a recovery and getting out of the lifestyle they’re in,” Officer Morrow said.

And this woman says one day she will turn her back on this position.

“You are going to keep doing this? No this is my last year. When I make my next birthday, which is real soon, I’m going to stop then.”

“My children are getting older and now they’re curious, and I don’t want that embarrassment, I don’t want that.”

If anyone sees prostitution occurring in their area, Beaumont Police asks that you call Crime Stoppers at (409) 833-TIPS.

(© 2016 KBMT)


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