Two related questions:
First, how much effort does an average city vice squad put into trying to stamp out prostitution? In theory it’s ridiculously easy to make arrests for prostitution: send plainsclothes officers out to offer money to women, and arrest them if they accept. (Is that right? Or is it entrapment if the women don’t “solicit” first?). If the prostitutes’ customers can find them, so can the police. If an real effort was made, thousands of prostitutes in a big city could be rounded up in a few days. My impression then is that little real effort is made beyond an occasional “sweep”, just to keep their visibility to a slightly sub-scandalous level.
Second, how easy or difficult is it actually for police to make prostitution arrests, or for prostitutes to avoid being arrested? Do they simply accept that it’s a numbers game, that sooner or later they’ll be busted in a sting, and that’s the cost of doing business? Or are there semi-successful tactics prostitutes use to avoid undercover cops?