Bronx, NY

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

The Bronx is a borough of approximately 1.4 million residents, located north of Manhattan and Queens in New York City. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been persistent and visible problems in the borough for decades, with a preponderance of activity reported in Hunts Point and the Wakefield neighborhood in the northern portion of the borough. A serial killer who targeted women selling sex has also operated in the city, and sex buyers have been robbed, beaten, and killed by pimps and sex sellers.

To address the wide range of problems associated with local commercial sex activities, the New York Police Department routinely conducts street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Since the early 1990s, the Bronx has been included in the citywide initiative known as “Operation Losing Proposition.” The law enforcement action has involved periodic crackdowns on areas known for commercial sex sales. Several concurrent reverse stings may be conducted, using groups of undercover female officers as decoys. Once arrested, sex buyers have had their names and identities publicized in local media outlets. They have also sometimes had their vehicles seized and impounded, depending upon the terms of arrest.

In February 2021, the New York Governor signed a bill repealing the 1976 law prohibiting loitering for the purpose of prostitution. In March 2021, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss more than 800 prostitution charges in the borough, including 280 pending cases and over 540 disposed cases in which a warrant was ordered, some of which dated back to the 1970s and 1980s. The Bronx DA’s Office had previously declined to prosecute loitering for prostitution charges. For information on anti-demand initiatives in other boroughs, please see New York, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.

Key Partners

  • New York Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings and Auto Seizure:

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:

Declining to Prosecute Prostitution, Partial Decriminalization:

State New York
Type County
Population 1427000
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