Suffolk, VA

Tactics Used

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

Suffolk is a city of approximately 85,000 residents, located in southeast Virginia near Norfolk. Prostitution and child sex trafficking are documented problems in the city.  For example, in April 2014 a man was charged with solicitation of prostitution from minor less than age 16; attempted cruelty and injuries to children; and assault and battery. In March 2019, an employee of a motel in Suffolk was arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution from a minor less than age 16, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  An investigation was launched in response to a complaint originating from the Motel on Portsmouth Boulevard.

In September 2008, following a web sting aimed at identifying prostituted women advertising sexual services on Craigslist, the Suffolk Police Department shifted gears and conducted a web sting to arrest local sex buyers. Officers placed a decoy advertisement to the website, and intercepted johns as they replied to the listing and arranged to meet. To discourage the men from reoffending in the future, police released all  john’ names and other identifying information in an official press release.

Key Partners

  • Suffolk Police Department


State Virginia
Type City
Population 81332
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