West Bridgewater, MA

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

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.

Key Partners

  • West Bridgewater Police Department
  • Bridgewater Police Department
  • East Bridgewater Police Department
  • WEB Major Crimes and Drug Task Force

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

  • “Nine Arrested for Prostitution,” Whitman-Hanson Express, August 28 2008.

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 7262
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