Asheville, NC

Tactics Used

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

Asheville is a city of roughly 91,000 residents in western North Carolina, in Buncombe County. Local prostitution generates numerous complaints to police and is linked to a number of other serious crime types, including child endangerment and the assault and homicide of sex sellers.

Among the efforts to reduce commercial sex activity that drives such problems have been efforts to combat demand. Street-level and web-based reverse stings have occurred there since at least 2004, according to police surveyed for the National Assessment. Since 2008, the identities of the arrested sex buyers have been publicized on the police department website “police blotter” as well as in local news outlets. Street and web-based reverse stings were conducted in 2010, 2012, and 2015.

The city also sends “Suspicious Activity Notice” postcards to the homes of registered car owners whose vehicles have been suspected of being used for the purposes of solicitation. This version of a “dear john letter” began in 2008 as well. Complaints to police by businesses and residents play a large role in law enforcement activity regarding prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Asheville Police Department
  • Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Buncombe County Magistrate
  • Buncombe County Anti-Crime Task Force

Key Sources

National Assessment Interview

Sex Buyer Arrests with Shaming:

Reverse Stings (with Shaming since at least 2008):


Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State North Carolina
Type City
Population 91560
Comments are closed.