Bid to rid town of prostitution unveiled

THE leader of a new task force helping Ipswich's sex workers said last night she was confident the team would rid the town of street prostitution.A raft of measures including extra CCTV and a police crackdown on kerb-crawling were unveiled yesterday by the Ipswich Prostitutes Steering Group.

THE leader of a new task force helping Ipswich's sex workers said last night she was confident the team would rid the town of street prostitution.

A raft of measures including extra CCTV and a police crackdown on kerb-crawling were unveiled yesterday by the Ipswich Prostitutes Steering Group.

The move, first revealed in the EADT last week, forms part of the county's biggest-ever review into the problem and comes in the wake of the red-light killings.

Speaking at yesterday's launch, Hannah Jo Besley , Ipswich Borough Council community safety officer and chair of the steering group, said: “The overall aim is to remove street position from the streets of Ipswich.


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“That may seem harsh but we have to have a robust approach to work with.

“This is the first time all agencies have come together to focus on one issue. I'm confident we will be able to start achieving the aim.”

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The authorities behind the strategy include police, councils and prostitution and drug experts.

Suffolk police revealed yesterday the first arrests of kerb crawlers had already been made and more are likely with the new technology at hand through the strategy.

Kerb-crawlers will now by tracked using CCTV and identified using number plate technology.

And if they persistently flout the law, they will be given Asbos and face further prosecution if they return to the red-light area.

The action plan also includes plans for sex workers to be offered “individual attention” so that they get speedy access to drug treatment programmes, health services and help with accommodation.

There will be new efforts to stem the causes of prostitution, including teaching children about healthy relationships, extra funding and better communication between agencies

The group had already developed a strategy and had examined areas such as Kings Cross in London during their research.

But the killings at the end of last year brought an urgency to the work and forced the group to take a more robust approach.

Ms Besley said: “We've had feedback from a huge number of people including support services.

“The feedback we are getting at the moment is that street prostitutes are supportive of the intervention we're putting in place.

“We're working with these individuals and working with individual needs. If we focus and support them, they will have no need to go underground.”

The bodies of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were found in rural locations outside Ipswich between December 2 and December 12 last year. All had worked in Ipswich's red-light district.

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