Sarasota Police Street Crimes Unit shares informational letters in effort to stop sex trafficking

SARASOTA, FL. – June 28, 2016   – 12:30 p.m.

This morning members of the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit and Nuisance Abatement Civilian Investigator took time to visit hotels and motels along North Tamiami Trail to share an informational letter with business owners in an effort to stop sex trafficking in the City of Sarasota.

Each letter explains to business owners the cases of prostitution and crimes related to prostitution, such as narcotics violations, that have occurred on the North Trail in recent years have a negative impact on the quality of life.  20 letters were handed out with suggestions business owners can use to safeguard their business against criminal activity including:

  • Verify the identity of new hires and conduct background checks prior to employment

  • Require a legitimate photo identification from guests on check-in, e.g. a driver’s license

  • Require the identification be in original form and not photocopied

  • Do not rent to local residents without good cause, e.g. house being tented for pests

  • Do not rent to customers who walk up with no automobile, especially if paying day by day

  • Report any and all suspicious activity to the police

“These suggestions are based on industry best practices as well as common elements discovered during past investigations of prostitution and narcotic cases at local hotel/motel establishments,” said Sergeant Rob Armstrong, Street Crimes Unit.  “With what we’re seeing in internet based prostitution, especially along our North Trail coordinator, we want to remind hotels and motels they can partner with us to stop sex trafficking in our community.”