Twelve men were arrested in a prostitution sting on Route 1 in Laurel, part of an ongoing effort to crackdown on the sex trade on the busy strip, Howard County police said.

Female officers in plain clothes worked undercover last Thursday in areas where residents have complained of prostitution, police said. When men approached the officers and offered money for sex, they were arrested, police said.

In two earlier operations this year on Route 1, a total of 17 men were arrested. In 2010, police conducted six similar operations, which netted 76 arrests.