Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space
No support for prostitutes following crackdown
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 are closed on this article.