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Pimps and johns in Los Angeles could soon see their vehicles impounded after a state Assembly committee approved a bill Wednesday that aims to create a pilot program allowing the action by law enforcement in an effort to crack down on prostitution.

AB 1206 was approved with a 6-1 vote by the Assembly Public Safety Committee and would create a 24-month pilot program in Los Angeles.

“This is an important step to protect our neighborhoods from people who are taking advantage of women who are being trafficked,” said Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who introduced the bill. “Unfortunately, many parts of my district have a high amount of prostitution, and we need to provide law enforcement the tools to end sex trafficking once and for all.”

Bocanegra represents the 39th Assembly District in the northeastern San Fernando Valley, which includes Lankershim Boulevard in the Sun Valley and North Hollywood area, a longtime focal point for street prostitution.

In 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force made more than 500 arrests, issued more than 3,000 citations, and rescued at least 10 human trafficking victims, eight of whom were minors.

“Human trafficking is a problem in Los Angeles where vehicles play a key role,” Bocanegra said. “AB 1206 creates a zero tolerance policy for soliciting prostitution, and anyone using their car will have their vehicle towed.”

Bocanegra’s office said Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez, who represents the northeast San Fernando Valley, sent a letter to Bocanegra expressing support for the bill.

— City News Service 

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