HOUSTON - The FM 1960 corridor near the North Freeway is bustling with crime. In the last week alone, there's been a murder, smash and grab, even a high speed chase, and Constable Mark Herman says the calls for service keep coming in.

He says it's crime fueled by prostitution.

"They see these folks hanging out in cars, driving around," said Herman. "There's been cases where people proposition them when people are outside walking or outside their business, the demand is there."

So the Precinct 4 Constable's Office launched an undercover operation in the area to crack down on prostitution, drugs and other crimes in the area. In two days, 16 people were busted and arrested.

"For us to get this number of guys, it's significant for the FM 1960, I-45 corridor, I have no doubt that these guys were involved in more than soliciting undercover officers," said Herman.

Crime statistics in the area near the 1960 corridor didn't reveal an increase in crime over the last six months, but constant levels of criminal activity. There have been 368 incidents alone in the last six months in just a quarter mile radius.

"We're out there again today with another phase of this operation," said Herman.

Herman says the operation will also include high visibility patrols and increased traffic enforcement. All of it meant to deter crime in an area known for problems.

"We want to send a strong message," said Herman. "When folks are out and about and you want to solicit sex, they may want to be wary it could be an undercover police officer."

The Justice Department also announced it plans to invest resources in Houston, including task forces to tackle crime in the 1960 corridor.