Banning, CA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Banning is a city of nearly 30,000 residents located in the Inland Empire region of California, to the west of Riverside along Interstate 10. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. At least one reverse sting has been conducted in Banning.  In 2008, the Banning Police Department placed an undercover officer on a city street as a decoy, and she was approached by four men who offered to pay her for sex.  The names and ages of the men arrested, as well as the town of their residence, were released to the media.

In January, 2023, a series of law enforcement operations throughout Riverside County targeting suspects seeking or engaged in illicit sexual services produced 31 arrests. The county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force joined other agencies statewide in “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild,” with the goal of suppressing the sex trade by targeting sex buyers, as well as identifying and supporting victims, and apprehending sex traffickers.  The effort in Riverside County occurred when identical sweeps were taking place in numerous other jurisdictions across California.  Operation Reclaim & Rebuild netted a total of 368 arrests and 131 rescues statewide. In Riverside County, arrests were made in Banning, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Murrieta, Perris, Riverside, San Jacinto, Temecula and Wildomar. About the operation, a Sergeant with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said,

“The operation targeted online prostitution and those whose demand for these unlawful activities fuels an illicit underground economy, both locally, as well as across the state. Often, individuals engaging in acts of prostitution are being forced to commit sexual acts against their will.”

Most of the individuals apprehended in the Riverside County operation were booked on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution, though one was additionally taken into custody for alleged pimping, and various services and resources were provided and offered to seven rescued victims. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in a press release by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.

Key Partners

  • Banning Police Department
  • Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT)
  • Riverside County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the City:

  • “Briefs; Banning Prostitution Sweep Results in 5 Arrests,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, March 26 1996.
  • “Incident: Pandering and Prostitution,” Press Release, Banning Police Department, November 12 2008.

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Region:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Region:

Background on Prostitution in the Region:

State California
Type City
Population 30273
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