Recently, the masses were regaled by the “Zola Story,” about a young woman’s adventure involving prostitution and murder. However, prostitution is a serious matter in the eyes of law enforcement. Worldwide, statistics say that that the underground sex industry generates $186 billion annually, making it second to only counterfeit drugs on the black market in regards to finance. The United States contributes $14.6 billion per year, according to sources. However, as there are plenty of prostitutes that are willing participants in the sex trade, human trafficking is real. Even more alarming statistics show that, globally, $99 billion of the worldwide total is made off of sex slaves, as a part of the world’s $150 billion forced labor industry. One of the United States’ major hubs for sex trafficking and human smuggling is Houston, TX, according to Breitbart. As a part of its recently waged war on human trafficking, The Vice Division of the Houston Police Department reported 60 prostitution arrests in the first half of October.
The October arrests–ranging in charges from misdemeanor prostitution, to felony prostitution, to promoting prostitution–come after the crackdown was announced in September. “The vice division is changing what we used to do,” said Vice Division head Captain Dan Harris to the Chronicle. “I keep telling the officers numbers are important, but that’s output. I’m interested in outcome. We can arrest prostitutes all day long, but there will be more coming in to take their place. Let’s work smarter, not harder.”
Before the arrests in October, the Houston PD recorded more than 20 in a four day span in September. “Arrests go up and down, but we’re interested in effects, not the numbers specifically,” explained Harris on the department’s new approach. “Here’s the conundrum for law enforcement. You want to help people but you have to make the arrest to get them the help they need.”
This trend is expected to continue in Houston and throughout the rest of Texas.