SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Undercover San Francisco Police Department officers posed as prostitutes on Capp Street in the Mission District to catch “Johns” in the act over the past several months.
Police released arrest statistics on Friday that were gathered since the operation began in the fall of last year. Thirty “Johns” propositioned undercover officers for sex, according to SFPD.
“Officers have cited or arrested over 30 suspects for soliciting prostitution, issued nearly 150 traffic citations, and provided multiple resources for sex workers. The community should expect to see operations like these for the foreseeable future,” SFPD wrote.
In addition, Mission Station police officers increased patrols on Capp Street and issued nearly 150 citations for failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to stop at a red light, speeding, and driving without headlights.
The undercover operation was launched in response to complaints from residents who live around Capp Street where sex workers gather and illegal prostitution occurs nightly. “These operations arose out of community concerns regarding illegal prostitution, human trafficking, and traffic/pedestrian safety on the Capp Street corridor,” SFPD wrote.
Zero sex workers were arrested for prostitution.
SFPD wrote, “The SFPD understands that sex workers are often the victims of human trafficking. The sex workers encountered by SFPD during these operations were not cited for sex-related offenses but instead were provided resources that will help them transition out of the sex work industry.”
City leaders are also trying to find solutions for Capp Street.
San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen and her legislative aide, Santiago Lerma, surveyed the area and found cars lined up with potential clients. “It was shocking. It was something we have never seen before. That intensity, that much, that many sex workers, pimps standing there,” Lerma said.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, you can contact:
National Human Trafficking Hotline: (888) 373-7888 or text “BeFree” to 233-7888.
San Francisco Bay Area Human Trafficking Hotline: (415) 907-9911