Hampton, VA

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

Hampton is a mid-sized city of about 138,000 residents, situated on a peninsula near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay in the southeastern part of Virginia.  Among the distinguishing features of the area including Newports News and Norfolk are the seaports, shipyards, and military presence (Army, Air Force, and Navy).

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.

According to a survey and interviews for the National Assessment, the first known attempts to combat demand for commercial sex in Hampton occurred in 1990, in the form of reverse sting operations and the public disclosure of sex buyer identities.  Reverse stings have occurred occasionally since then, and the identities of arrestees are disclosed to the media.  The Hampton Police Division (HPD) sometimes collaborates with police in the neighboring city of Newport News in conducting reverse stings.  One operation in March, 2013 resulted in four arrests.

A “john school” program based in Hampton was launched in 2011, and the HPD (along with the Newport News PD) began referring qualified arrestees to the program. The program was structured as a 12-hour counseling program occurring across 8 weekly sessions, rather than the more common one-day class of 4 to 8 hours. Additional details about the program are available HERE.  The program was located at the Center for Child and Family Services in Hampton.  It is uncertain whether the program is still offered, but news accounts indicated it operated through at least 2015.

Key Partners

  • Hampton Police Division
  • Newport News Police Department
  • Newport News Community Corrections Division
  • Newport News Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
  • Center for Child & Family Services
State Virginia
Type City
Population 146439
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