Chester, PA

Tactics Used

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

Chester is a city of approximately 34,000 residents, situated roughly equidistant between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware in southeast Pennsylvania. Prostitution has posed considerable problems in the community for several years.

For example, at least two cases of child sex trafficking has been documented in Chester. In one instance, in May 2013, two city residents were charged with recruiting and pimping young women (at least one of whom was under the age of 18) in nearby Philadelphia using online advertisements. In a federal indictment, the traffickers were alleged to have “engaged in acts of physical violence and threats of physical harm to maintain the participation of females in their prostitution business. They [were] charged with sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking by force.”

To reduce commercial sex activity, the Chester Police Department has conducted reverse stings since at least 1994. Stings are conducted at street level, using a female undercover officer as a decoy. The operations have at times been large in scale, netting as many as 38 johns in a single investigation. To deter other would-be sex buyers, arrestees’ names and other identifying information are also released to the public.


Key Partners

  • Chester Police Department

Key Sources

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 33972
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