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West Bridgewater is a town of about 7,300 residents located in Plymouth County, south of Boston, Massachusetts. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the city, and throughout the region, and the local problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include reverse stings, and the disclosure of sex buyer identities. For example, in October of 1999, West Bridgewater Police Department officers partnered with their peers from Bridgewater and East Bridgewater to form the WEB Major Crimes and Drug Task Force. In 2008, this task force conducted a web-based reverse sting using decoy ads on Craigslist, which yielded hundreds of responses. Using Craigslist, police arrested many sex buyers throughout the county; the number arrested specifically in West Bridgewater was not disclosed. All of the offenders had their names, ages, and hometowns publicized in local news outlets.
- West Bridgewater Police Department
- Bridgewater Police Department
- East Bridgewater Police Department
- WEB Major Crimes and Drug Task Force
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Nine Arrested for Prostitution,” Whitman-Hanson Express, August 28 2008.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “West Bridgewater Prostitution Sting Nets 7,” Bridgewater Enterprise, August 9 2007.
- “New England in Brief; Prostitution Sting Nets 7 Arrests,” Boston Globe, August 13 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets Seven Arrests, Bridgewaters Combine to Thwart Sex Ring,” West Bridgewater Times, August 15 2007.
- https://www.masscops.com/threads/west-bridgewater-prostitution-sting-nets (2007)
- “Task Force Targets Sex Services on Craigslist,” West Bridgewater Times, March 19 2008.
- “Investigators in Three Bridgewater Towns Team up against Major Crimes,” Quincy Patriot Ledger, September 29 2008.
- “West Bridgewater Spa Shut down in Prostitution Inquiry,” Boston Globe, February 21 2013.
- “Accused Sex Worker to Appear in Court, Woman Charged with Misdemeanor in Wake of March 5 Raid on Spa,” Brockton Enterprise, March 24 2013.
- “No-Show for West Bridgewater Spa Suspect,” Cape Ann Beacon, March 27 2013.
- https://www.bostonglobe.com/west-bridgewater-spa-shut-down-prostitution-inquiry (2013)
- https://www.necn.com/mass__spa_busted_for_alleged_prostitution_necn (2014)