Manchester, NH

Tactics Used

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

Manchester is a city with over 110,000 residents, located in south-central New Hampshire.  Prostitution and sex trafficking are known to occur in the city, and law enforcement agencies and others have targeted demand as a means of addressing these problems.  Manchester police began conducting reverse stings at least as early as 1991, and has conducted them occasionally since.  A survey completed by the Manchester Police Department in 2009 for the National Assessment indicated that they conduct about 12 reverse stings per year.  Identities of arrested sex buyers are routinely publicized by police.  The courts have the discretion to impose SOAP orders on arrestees as well.

Reverse stings have become somewhat routine in Manchester.  In 2007-2009 (and perhaps a broader range of years), Weed and Seed program funds were used to partially fund reverse stings – making them more frequent, and allowing them to deploy two or three decoys rather than just one team. In February 2015, MPD officers staged a street-level reversal that resulted in the arrests of four johns. Following their arrests, the men’s identities were publicized by local media outlets.  A reverse sting was conducted in September 2017 near the Enright Park area of the city after residents complained to police about prostitution.  “Operation Breakfast Club” resulted in the arrest of six male sex buyers, all of whom were charged with prostitution-related offenses and released on $500 bail.  The names, ages, and hometowns of all arrestees were released to news outlets.

In October, 2018 Manchester police arrested six men on prostitution-related charges during a daylight operation around Enright Park in the city center. The operation was prompted by complaints from area neighbors, and the names and photos of the arrestees were publicly released.  In January 2019, five men were arrested during a prostitution sweep in the center city, in the area between Beach and Lincoln streets and Manchester and Laurel streets. Five men face prostitution and related charges after soliciting sex from a plainclothes detective in exchange for money. All five men were released on personal recognizance and were scheduled to appear the following month in Manchester Circuit Court. In April 2019, another reverse sting resulted in the arrest of eight sex buyers.

Neighborhood initiatives were launched in 2010 to address prostitution and its associated problems.  Residents began recording license plate numbers of men who appeared to be engaged in buying sex, and forwarding this information to police.


Key Partners

  • Manchester Police Department
  • Manchester Weed and Seed Program

Key Sources

State New Hampshire
Type City
Population 111196
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