Chester, PA

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

Chester is a city of approximately 33,000 residents, situated in southeast Pennsylvania roughly equidistant between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. Prostitution has posed considerable problems in the community for decades. 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 and girls (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 prostitution 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, arresting as many as 38 male sex buyers in a single sting. To deter other would-be sex buyers, arrestees’ names and other identifying information have also been released to the public.

Key Partners

  • Chester Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

  • “Busted Chester Hits Prostitution”, Delaware County Daily Times, December 2 1994.
  • “‘Operation Night Life’ Tally Totals 38 Arrests; Undercover Operation Targets Chester Prostitution”, Delaware County Daily Times, December 4 1994.
  • “The Customers Are Guilty, Too; Editorial”, Delaware County Daily Times, December 6 1994.
  • “9 More Busted for Vice”, Delaware County Daily Times, December 23 1994.
  • “Nine Busted in Decoy Hooker Sting”, Delaware County Daily Times, July 10 1997.
  • “Undercover Sting Nets Six Arrests”, Delaware County Daily Times, August 8 2006.
  • “Prostitution Sting Nets Eight Arrests in Chester”, Delaware County Daily Times, September 1 2008.

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 32535
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