Blue Springs, MO
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Blue Springs, Missouri is located within Jackson County, 19 miles east of downtown Kansas City. Its population is approximately 55,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, 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. For example, in 2018, several extended stay hotels in Blue Springs created “a call to action for residents,” with prostitution being one of the main complaints, along with illicit drugs and larceny. One of the motels had nearly 200 calls for police service in a two month span.
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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities. For example, in July 2022, a report of a suspicious person in a Blue Springs hotel lobby prompted police to open an investigation of human trafficking when a man claimed he was trying to “take possession of” a woman “that he had purchased from a third party” through AdultFriendFinders.com. The man told the officer he had been speaking with the woman’s “handler” since late June 2022, and had made multiple payments totaling $10,000 to that person because he wanted to “set her free.” He also showed the officer text messages exchanged which purportedly showed arrangements to purchase the woman’s contract. That encounter led to his arrest. A Blue Springs police detective interviewed the man the following day. He allegedly provided the detective with a description of the person he made the arrangements for (“a white woman with black hair, about 26 years of age”). The man was arrested at the Marriott Hotel in Blue Springs. He was held for 24 hours and later released with a citation for patronizing prostitution, a municipal offense, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.
- Blu Springs Police Department
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.kansascity.com/sex trafficking investigated after man said he paid $10,ooo for prostituted woman (2022)
Background on Local Prostitution:
- http://voices.washingtonpost.com/prostitution_suspect_used_data (2005)
- https://www.kshb.com/news/safe-kc/blue-springs-hotel-ordinance-decreases-crime-by-50-percent-in-less-than-1-year (2018)
- https://www.kshb.com/blue-springs-hotel-ordinance-decreases-crime-by-50-percent-in-less-than-1-year (2019)
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