Forfeitures, Special Victims, and Drug Abatement

Forfeitures

State law allows for the seizure and forfeiture of property by law enforcement under certain circumstances, such as when property is used in the commission of a crime or is acquired with proceeds from a crime. Forfeiture often occurs with drug-related crimes, but can also occur in cases involving the commercial sexual abuse of minors and other felonies. Drug-related offenses are often motivated by profits. Forfeiture can deter drug crime by eliminating the profit incentive. Forfeiture can also help defray the high costs incurred by government resulting from these crimes.

For more information on the forfeiture program, go to www.seattle.gov/police/units/investigations/narcotics.htm

Vice and High Risk Victims

The City Attorney's Office works closely with the Seattle Police Department's Vice and High Risk Victims Unit to address prostitution-related activity in our City. Safety and livability concerns affecting neighborhoods are immediately addressed, as well as the underlying issues. The City Attorney has shifted the focus to a victim-centered approach, which cracks down on those who buy sex while providing services to prostituted persons. Where appropriate, prostitution charges are filed, with education and services being made mandatory conditions for resolution. In this way, both the immediate public safety issues and the cycle of victimization are addressed. For more detail, read Rewriting the prostitution narrative in the August 2012 newsletter.

Abatement

Under the Drug Abatement Program, the City notifies property owners of drug activity on their property. The City works with the property owners to resolve the narcotics-related issues. If the issues cannot be resolved, under state law, the property can be closed for up to one year by court order. One successful case is documented in the 2013 Annual Report.