No support for prostitutes following crackdown

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There are no dedicated support services for prostitutes following a police crackdown on kerbcrawling and soliciting, it has emerged.

Addressing a meeting to brief the public following Operation Dash earlier this month, Sergeant Alan Lee, of Lea Bridge Neighbourhood Police Team, said the offer of support to vulnerable women could be used as part of a series of measures to tackle problems in the Bakers Arms area of Leyton and Walthamstow.

But Karen Sambrook, of Waltham Forest Council's anti-social behaviour task force, admitted there are no specific services to help vulnerable prostitues to find a long-term solution.

She said: “Prostitution is a persistent and embedded problem in the area. But there is currently no provision within Waltham Forest to help the prostitutes.

“At the moment the council is carrying out research to make sure there is an outreach group for these women, but currently there is no specialist service in the borough to engage with these women and provide them with an exit strategy.”  

Operation Dash resulted in 74 arrests for kerb crawling and soliciting and Sgt Lee said police patrols will continue to target offenders over the next 12 weeks.

The 28 people cautioned for kerb-crawling have been ordered to attend an 'impact course' to educate them about the consequences of their actions, which will cost them £200.

Sgt Lee said enforcement signs and CCTV could be used in public places in an attempt to deter offenders, but admitted the problem would just be moved elsewhere.

He said: "The area has built up a reputation for picking up women and prostitution remains the number one problem for residents and businesses living in the Lea Bridge ward area. But if kerb-crawling is not in Lea Bridge Road then it will be somewhere else.”

Speaking at the meeting last night at the Resource Hub in Russell Road, Leyton, Lea Bridge Ward Cllr Masood Ahmad welcomed the crackdown but said the problem had just been moved to nearby streets.

He said: “The operation was a great success and 74 arrests is a big number.

"However, because the police have been focusing on the Bakers Arms end of Lea Bridge Road and the Ibis Hotel, the sex workers have started to move down towards the Markhouse Road end of Lea Bridge Road.”

Comments (4)

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11:02am Thu 19 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

Perhaps the ladies of the night already get more than enough offers of assistance through drug rehabilitation and social services and the last thing that is needed is a further drain on the public purse with other organisations vying for position to set up more Quangos.
Perhaps the ladies of the night already get more than enough offers of assistance through drug rehabilitation and social services and the last thing that is needed is a further drain on the public purse with other organisations vying for position to set up more Quangos. Billy Yerache

1:46pm Thu 19 Dec 13

myopinioncounts says...

If prostitution is a crime then why should we sympathise and expect them to have support ? It is not fair if the kerb crawlers are prosecuted but the hookers escape punishment. After all, if they were not plying their trade the kerb crawlers would have no reason to be there.
If prostitution is a crime then why should we sympathise and expect them to have support ? It is not fair if the kerb crawlers are prosecuted but the hookers escape punishment. After all, if they were not plying their trade the kerb crawlers would have no reason to be there. myopinioncounts

3:35pm Fri 20 Dec 13

fjl says...

It’s one of the oldest professions there it. It's not going to go away. We may as well accept that then legalise it and take it off the streets making it much safer for all.
It’s one of the oldest professions there it. It's not going to go away. We may as well accept that then legalise it and take it off the streets making it much safer for all. fjl

4:12pm Fri 20 Dec 13

pan says...

Personally I think that given the fact that nowadays we are a permissive society and with regards to sex everyone seems to think that within reason anything goes I think its about time this issue was seriously looked at with a fresh approach.

It is called the oldest profession and regardless of laws it goes on. Most of the issues surrounding the topic are compounded by the fact that because its illegal there can be no regulations or safety measures applied. Given the fact that in this day and age just about everything is regulated and double checked really its about time we as a society looked at what is really going on.

You can never stop the exploitation of these women, the dangers they face and the various other problems that seem to go hand in hand unless the whole "trade" becomes something that can be regulated.

I am sure that in many ways the main reason why governments have not dome this is purely because its a tricky situation to be able to tax , if they thought they could then most probably they would.
Personally I think that given the fact that nowadays we are a permissive society and with regards to sex everyone seems to think that within reason anything goes I think its about time this issue was seriously looked at with a fresh approach. It is called the oldest profession and regardless of laws it goes on. Most of the issues surrounding the topic are compounded by the fact that because its illegal there can be no regulations or safety measures applied. Given the fact that in this day and age just about everything is regulated and double checked really its about time we as a society looked at what is really going on. You can never stop the exploitation of these women, the dangers they face and the various other problems that seem to go hand in hand unless the whole "trade" becomes something that can be regulated. I am sure that in many ways the main reason why governments have not dome this is purely because its a tricky situation to be able to tax , if they thought they could then most probably they would. pan

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