Riverside, 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

Riverside is a small hamlet of less than 3,000 residents, located within Southampton on central Long Island, New York. Cases of prostitution and child sex trafficking have been reported in the community. Riverside has also documented at least one robbery related to prostitution; in October 2014, “men armed with guns and machetes stormed a home allegedly being used for prostitution” on Old Quogue Road in Riverside, tied up the home’s occupants, and stole $3,500 in cash, phones, and credit cards. In investigating the robbery, law enforcement determined that one of the residents had been running a prostitution business out of the home.

The Southampton Town Police Department has conducted several street-level reverse stings in the area to address these issues; most have targeted prostitution activity occurring along Riverside’s major thoroughfares. While some stings (e.g., June 2012) have sent Southampton Town police officers undercover as both sex buyers and prostituted women, others have exclusively targeted sex buyers (e.g., March 2001, September 2013). The names and identities of all arrestees are released to the public.

In April 2016, Southampton police arrested seven men in a reverse sting after they offered to pay an undercover police officer for sexual acts. The men were charged with third-degree patronizing a prostitute and their names, ages, and hometowns were released to the press. The sting was conducted in response to complaints from community members and local business owners about visible prostitution in the area.

Notably, Riverside’s anti-prostitution efforts have been strongly encouraged and highly praised by community members. STPD officers have reported that the setting and timing of their operations are informed by tips and complaints from local residents and business owners. In September 2013, members from the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association (FRNCA) released a statement praising the police for targeting sex buyers, adding they would “like to see the [sex buyers] sentenced to providing some kind of support for the victims of their efforts — the [prostituted persons] and the neighbors.”

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Neighborhood Action:

Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State New York
Type City
Population 2362
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