Prince George’s County Seeks to Thwart Human Trafficking Through Hourly Hotel Ban

In an effort to impede human trafficking and related criminal activity, 0fficials in Prince George’s County have introduced legislation to ban hourly hotel and motel room rentals.  As reported in The Washington Times:

County Council member Karen R. Toles plans to introduce legislation to that effect Tuesday as well as a separate bill that would require hotel operators to provide training to employees on how to identify human trafficking activities and victims.

A county working group charged with studying and combating the problem has been able to identify about 130 cases of human trafficking in the county since 2013, said Michael Lyles, chairman of the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force.

“The facilities where trafficking takes place have been in hotels and in and around hotel establishments,” Mr. Lyles said. “The Route 1 corridor and Clinton have been a prime source for attracting the trafficking.”

While there are few county hotels that still allow customers to rent by the hour — the task force is aware of two — Mr. Lyles said those hotels have been a magnet for prostitution and accounted for the “lion’s share of the problems.”

The article notes that Maryland ranks eighth in the nation for human trafficking reports and that the proposed legislation would bring Prince George’s County in line with other jurisdictions, such as San Antonio, Texas and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, that have bans on hourly rentals. For more information read the full article in The Washington Times and additional coverage in The Washington Post.