Law enforcement met with managers and employees of local hotels north of Boston Tuesday in response to human trafficking arrests that were recently made, according to Andover police.
An FBI agent made a presentation for hotel workers from Andover, Tewksbury, Nashua, and Methuen to discuss issues that intersect law enforcement and the hospitality industry, namely prostitution and human trafficking.
The presentation outlined the warning signs and behaviors often linked to human trafficking and what hotel staff can do to prevent these incidents from occurring at their hotels.
“We know that prostitution is not a victimless crime,” stated Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe who characterized it as an “issue of human suffering and misery.”
Andover has a large hospitality industry because it is near the intersection of two major highways north of Boston, Interstate 93 and 495.
Andover police, in collaboration with local hotels, have conducted several sting operations that targeted customers of prostitutes, resulting in multiple arrests.
“Going forward, the Andover Police Department will continue planning future operations while working with the local hotels in order to combat human trafficking and sex crime,” stated Andover Police Department Det. Sgt. Mark Higginbottom. “We plan to make these types of meetings a recurring event.”