When Civil Beat started examining how the Honolulu Police Department handles prostitution, we failed to take into account one of the three main charges used in arrests.
We included promoting prostitution and prostitution, but not street solicitation, a charge used in Waikiki and downtown.
After we published initial reports in our Selling Sex in Honolulu series, police said that our figures derived from daily examination of the daily arrest log didn’t match their numbers.
The department has declined repeated interview requests and will only respond to questions regarding prostitution in writing. The solicitation charge never came up in our correspondence until after our initial reports.
Working with the department, we determined that police used an additional statute in prostitution cases. In addition to enforcing Hawaii’s main prostitution statute, HRS 712-1200, police also sometimes use HRS 712-1207, a street solicitation law.
We reexamined our statistics and began incorporating the solicitation charge into our reporting in January.
We found that police continue to make most prostitution arrests in two areas: Waikiki and Downtown, near Fort Street Mall and near Restaurant Row. Absent from the list are some locations well-known to sex trafficking victims’ advocates as prostitution zones, including Ward Avenue near Ala Moana Boulevard, where police have previously done prostitution busts.
Stay Up To Date On The Coronavirus And Other Hawaii Issues