Alexandria, VA

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Alexandria is a city of approximately 150,000 residents, located just south of Washington in Fairfax County, Virginia. The presence of prostitution and sex trafficking in the city has been documented, and local residents have reported suspected commercial sex sales to local law enforcement. A wide range of problems driven by the commercial sex market have been documented in the city and surrounding areas, including child sex trafficking, and the rape, assault, and murder of women engaged in prostitution (including the activity of more than one serial rapist and murderer who specifically targeted sex sellers). A pimp has also been murdered in the city, while being robbed by MS-13 gang members.

To address the issue, the Alexandria Police Department frequently collaborates with the Fairfax County Police Department to conduct street-level reverse stings. The operations, once limited to the Route 1 Corridor, are now conducted along a variety of major thoroughfares, using undercover female officers as decoys. As sex buyers attempt to solicit sex from the women, they are apprehended by police. Once arrested, sex buyers may have their vehicles seized and impounded, as per a 2003 city ordinance. The Fairfax County Police Department routinely publishes arrestees’ names and other identifying information on their official website.

Key Partners

  • Alexandria Police Department
  • Fairfax County Police Department
  • Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey

Reverse Stings:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Virginia
Type City
Population 157613
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