This week The Hub Radio Station was invited by the Compton Sheriff Department regarding elicit child trafficking and prostitution running rampant in the city. Many long time residents have known the area of Long Beach Blvd., mainly in between the sections of Greenleaf Blvd. to the 105 freeway as the center of illegal sex work for years now. In a surprising twist the city of Compton has seen lower murder rates, but a steep high in prostitution and human trafficking related crimes. Dre (President of The Hub Radio) had a chance to speak with Barry Hall, Lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff Department and head of the human trafficking task force. Lt. Hall agrees that this specific area of the city is notorious for prostitution and in a startling revelation, child trafficking. While interviewing Hall, he revealed last week twelve women were apprehended for loitering for purpose of prostitution and two of them were underage. The two girls ranged from the ages of fourteen and fifteen, and in a pressing discovery said that they picked up a worker as young as thirteen.
During the discussion Lt. Hall made it very clear that age plays a huge role when defining illegal sex work. Children under the age of eighteen are classified by law as victims of child trafficking. Lt. Hall states that prostitution has been a problem in the city since beginning his career almost thirty three years ago. However, human trafficking has become a rising problem in recent years leading to efforts to combat these acts beginning in 2016. During the interview, we came to learn that many of these pimps target young girls in the foster care system, with little to no family support, and financial issues. Promising them clothes, accessories and money these children are soon exploited in a world of abuse and sex often with up to eighty to one hundred men in between police contact.
Hall states that police intervention is extremely common when dealing with these minors however, cooperation between victims and law enforcement in extremely low. In the last couple of weeks alone there have been up to ninety prostitution related arrests, and two crack down operations with one being held on the day of this interview. Rolling or flipping is the act of giving information on pimps to the authorities but Hall states that this is very difficult especially when it comes to young victims of trafficking. The Sheriff Department states that their best measure at attacking this problem is keeping a firm approach on the area of Long Beach Blvd. There are various programs that will help get girls off of the street whether they are victims or choosing to be a sex worker. Pimps who traffic children are looking at a lengthy sentence. The Sheriff Department plans on increasing their efforts to get rid of all of the sex work on Long Beach Blvd. All in all Barry’s message to the pimps and prostitutes in the city is to move elsewhere.
If you are or know a victim of sex trafficking to contact Saving Innocence at 323.379.4237 or Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking at 888.539.2373.
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