LAMBETH: Tory candidate launches hooker hotline

This Is Local London:  Conservative candidate Mark Clarke in Bedford Hill Conservative candidate Mark Clarke in Bedford Hill

Prostitutes on Bedford Hill are causing such a nuisance that one resident has started his own one-man anti-vice campaign.

Mark Clarke, 31, of Fontenoy Road, pledged every time a resident emails him with a prostitute sighting, he will arrive at the scene and disrupt her work.

The Conservative parliamentary candidate for Tooting is fed up with curb crawlers and seedy activities blighting the area.

He said: “If someone tells me they’re here now and I’m in the area, I’ll go down there with people from my family and ruin their business.

“We’ll offer them help and advice, but we’ll also just stand next to them so they won’t get any punters.”

Last Monday Mr Clarke and his girlfriend, Sarah, 30, spent three hours on Bedford Hill warding off vice girls after calls from residents.

They arrived at 10.30pm to reason with two separate prostitutes, who showered them with abuse before eventually leaving.

Mr Clarke said: “My girlfriend was quite distressed. One of them said, ‘I know people who can sort you out.’”

He added: “Most people in the community are afraid of tackling them. They think the pimp will get them, or they might get done for curb crawling themselves.

“But I can do this because everyone including the police knows who I am. They know I’m not harassing anyone.”

Bedford Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) made tackling prostitution a priority last month after requests from its public panel.

Although the SNT does not work 24 hours a day, it does target vice with high visibility and plain clothes patrols and is advising to residents on how to make the streets less friendly to prostitutes.

Sergeant Jill Horsfall said: “I don't recommend that anyone stands next to the prostitutes, but that is a matter for Mr Clarke.

“What we are saying to residents is to give us statements on how the activities affect their lives, so that we can build up evidence for Asbos and so on.

She added: "It's true that we are not going to solve it from prosecution alone. We need long term multi agency action.”

To contact Mark Clarke email mark@markclarke.net To report prostitution call the Safer Neighbourhoods Team on 020 8721 2424.

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