"I'm looking for a date," said a NewsChannel 11 photographer during an undercover report. "Are you a cop?" the prostitutes asked. "No." "For reals?" "Yeah. So do you give good h***?" "Yes I do," she said. "How much does it cost?" "$20." This was a conversation NewsChannel 11 had undercover with a prostitute two years ago.
An Undercover Look at Prostitution in Lubbock
You may not see it in your neighborhood, you may not even think it happens here. But so far this year, 50 women have been arrested in Lubbock for prostitution. But these aren't just numbers, they're daughters, mothers, sisters, and little girls.
Lubbock Police Lieutenant Ralph Bowen says prostitutes cruise areas that are low income neighborhoods or places where drugs are not hard to find. "The prostitutes use that money to purchase drugs for their personal use. They will also buy drugs for the tricks they accept," said Bowen.
Undercover officers work the bad areas on a daily basis. Lt. Bowen says they have arrested 70 to 80 prostitutes in one year. Most are repeat offenders. "They're not all illiterate. We've had professional people that have resorted to prostitution," Bowen said. Bowen says they have arrested a registered nurse who resorted to prostitution to support her drug habit.
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They have arrested prostitutes as young as 17-years-old and as old as 65. And he says a life of prostitution is like gambling your life away. "A prostitute meets a person once. There are no predictions about that person they will be servicing," Bowen said.
Bowen tells NewsChannel 11 that prostitution in Lubbock is drug motivated. He says there are no organized prostitution rings and that no one is getting rich in Lubbock from selling their body.
So is prostitution a problem in Lubbock? Bowen says yes. But it is no larger a problem than any city our size. In fact, Lubbock police feel like they have the prostitution crime under control.