In a supposed attempt to crack down on prostitution, the Las Vegas Police Department has compiled a list of what they call Vegas’ 50 most prolific prostitutes as part of a program called VETO (Vice Enforcement Top Offenders). The Las Vegas Review-Journal ran a story about the list, and published some of the mugshots provided by police, as well as an online slideshow.
The most obvious problem here is the lack of photos of pimps and johns. Clients of prostitutes are far more likely to be shamed into changing their ways by the release of a mugshot than the women whose livelihood depends on sex for money. But as the LA Times blog The Movable Buffet points out, there are other, more subtle issues with the LVPD’s VETO program:
[N]othing in this program is meant to catch casino hosts who supply high rollers with hookers for kickbacks from the hookers. Also, there is a huge and thriving Internet community of escort prostitutes who work through websites that even contain consumer reviews by customers that also escapes targeting by this program.
The Internet escorts, like the prostitutes who work with casino hosts, do not loiter at a resort or search for customers at the casino but are already going to meet the john through arrangements made by phone and e-mail.
VETO therefore is really only targeting the women who show up at a casino looking for customers. There are plenty of them. But they are probably not, as advertised by police, “the most prolific” prostitutes in Vegas. And what they do is just a tiny part of the illegal prostitution that takes place on the Strip daily and nightly.