Andover is a town in Essex County, in northeastern Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1646, and the population as of 2015 was approximately 35,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, such as Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverill. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking. In April 2017, law enforcement officials met with managers and employees of local hotels from Andover, Tewksbury, Nashua, and Methuen, in response to human trafficking arrests that had recently been made. An FBI agent made a presentation for hotel workers to discuss issues that intersect law enforcement and the hospitality industry, including prostitution and human trafficking, and noted that Andover has a large hospitality industry because it is near the intersection of two major highways just 20 minutes north of Boston: Interstate 93 and 495.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. For example, Andover police, in collaboration with local hotels, have conducted several reverse sting operations that targeted customers of prostitutes, resulting in multiple arrests. Few details about the operations were publicly released.
Andover Police Department
- https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/04/05/andover-police-meet-with-hotels-prevent-prostitution-human-trafficking (2017)
- http://www.eagletribune.com/news/merrimack_valley/police-hotels-talk-about-crackdown-on-prostitution (2017)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://patch.com/massachusetts/andover/prostitution-sting-nets-three-andover-0 (2016)
- https://jgpr.net/2016/04/15/three-arrested-andover-police-prostitution-sting-operation-new-multi-agency-task-force-targets-human-trafficking/ (2016)
- http://www.patriotledger.com/article/20160415/NEWS (2016)
- https://patch.com/massachusetts/andover/prostitution-ring-being-run-andover (2017)
- http://www.eagletribune.com/news/trio-arrested-in-andover-prostitution-sting/ (2017)
- https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/04/14/boston-man-charged-for-andover-prostitution-operation (2017)
- https://www.masslive.com/news/boston/index.ssf/2017/04/andover_man_charged_with_running prostitution ring (2017)
- http://www.mspnews.org/2017/04/state-police-andover-police-charge-man-with-running-prostitution-ring/ (2017)