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City of Phoenix, CEASE announce success of National Effort to Stop Sex BuyingCity of Phoenix, CEASE announce success of National Effort to Stop Sex Buying<div class="ExternalClass5087D785FC704C3D8190D3E065A14B87"><div>The City of Phoenix, in partnership with CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sex Trafficking), today announced the Phoenix Police Department successfully reached hundreds of sex buyers during the National Johns Suppression Initiative this summer.</div><div><br></div><div>More than 1,300 sex buyers – a record – were arrested across 18 states in this summer’s National Johns Suppression Initiative aimed at reducing sex trafficking. The operation lasted approximately 1 month – from July 1 through Aug. 7.</div><div><br></div><div>This is the 12th operation for the nationwide initiative, which Sheriff Dart of Cook County, IL launched in 2011 to highlight the role of sex buyers – or ‘johns’ -- as perpetrators in this violent and exploitive industry. To date, the initiative has so far resulted in the arrest of more than 5,800 johns by more than 70 arresting agencies across 22 states. Police Departments from Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and Tucson participated this year from Arizona. <br><br></div><div>National Statistics from this year’s operation:  </div><div> </div><div>·         71 sex trafficking arrests</div><div>·         1,358 sex solicitation arrests (buyers)</div><div>·         More than $1 million in fines</div><div>·         More than 1,300 charges (felony, misdemeanor and ordinance violations)</div><div>·         58 adult victims recovered/offered services</div><div>·         32 juvenile victims recovered</div><div>·         2,015 johns deterred (includes texts, calls and webpage re-directs to inform sex buyers of the harmful impact of the sex industry)</div><div>·         421 vehicles towed/impounded/seized</div><div>·         60 percent of arrests stemmed from online advertisements, of which 99 percent were on Backpage.com.</div><div>   </div><div>Phoenix Police Department contribution this year:<br><br></div><div>·         4 arrests of sex buyers</div><div>·         36 in-depth phone discussions and 302 text conversations with potential buyers about the harms of prostitution and what they stand to lose if arrested</div><div>·         Mass text educational campaign to phone numbers of over 900 potential sex buyers collected this summer by Phoenix Police.  </div><div> </div><div>“Phoenix PD is a leader across the nation in using technology to reach sex buyers at scale,” said Lt. Robert Conrad, Phoenix Police Department Vice Enforcement Unit. “There are simply not enough police resources to arrest all online sex customers, which ASU Researchers estimate to be nearly 10,000 per day in the Phoenix Metro Area."</div><div><br></div><div>“If there were no buyers, there would be no business for the pimps and traffickers,” commented Angie Bayless, Local Coordinator of the CEASE Phoenix Metro Initiative.  “We have to get creative and intercept the buyers online, which is where the vast majority of sex trafficking activity takes place.”</div><div><br></div><div>"Reducing demand for commercial sex in our state is a critical step in addressing human trafficking,” said Councilman Jim Warning, Chair of the Mayor’s Human Trafficking Task Force. “We are making a difference, one sex buyer at a time. I would like to see a time when young girls and vulnerable women in our city are no longer bought and sold online.”<br><br></div><div>Phoenix joined the CEASE Network in November 2014.  This action-oriented network is dedicated to innovating, testing, and sharing strategies with a proven impact on deterring people from buying sex in many major metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (Cook County, IL), Dallas (North Texas), Denver, Houston, Oakland (Alameda County, CA), Phoenix, Portland (Multnomah County, OR), San Diego, and Seattle (King County, WA). The lessons learned in these cities will create a blueprint for reducing demand at the local level, while fueling a national movement to end sexual exploitation in the United States.</div></div>8/12/2016 5:00:00 PMDavid Urbinato602-495-5405