A CRACKDOWN on kerb-crawling and street prostitution in Southall led to the arrests of 41 men by Ealing Police.

The arrests were made between July and September as part of Operation Tolkien and are the result of ongoing work between the Safer Southall Police Problem Solving team, funded by Ealing Council, and local Safer Neighbourhood officers.

Of the 41 men arrested, 24 were charged and appeared at Ealing Magistrates Court. Sixteen pleaded guilty to soliciting offences and one to sexual touching and soliciting.i

Six pleaded not guilty and have had trials set.

Chief Inspector Colin Wingrove, from Ealing Police, said: “We want to send a strong message that approaching a woman and asking her for sex in exchange for money will not be tolerated.

“We have responded robustly to residents’ concerns about the presence of men approaching women in the street, on foot, or in cars, asking for sexual services.”

Borough Commander Nev Nolan said: “Residents, particularly women, have told us they felt less safe at night because of the problem.

"The area is benefiting from fantastic regeneration projects and partnership working, which will boost Southall’s reputation. We doing all we can to help that happen, restore pride to the area and, most importantly, make residents feel safer.”

Ranjit Dheer, councillor for Dormers Wells, said: “This is unacceptable anti-social behaviour in our community. Everyone has the right to walk down the street without feeling intimidated and harassed. We will continue to work closely with the police to deal with this issue.”

A total of £4,864 in fines have so far been issued and the operation will continue.