Call for town to have licensed brothel

By John HowardA COUNCILLOR has called for a licensed brothel to be set up in Ipswich - after a man murdered a prostitute who was working near his home.

By John Howard

A COUNCILLOR has called for a licensed brothel to be set up in Ipswich - after a man murdered a prostitute who was working near his home.

Andrew Stringer said a licensed brothel would mean prostitutes could have access to health checks, would be able to work in a safer environment and it would not be in the clutches of pimps.

His call comes after Darren Brown, 22, of Alderman Road, Ipswich, was jailed for life on Monday after being convicted of the murder of Cara Martin-Brown, a 25-year-old prostitute, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich.

A court heard Brown had attacked and killed Miss Martin-Brown on December 23 last year because he hated prostitutes working near his home.

Mr Stringer, a Green member of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “If the Green Party gets county councillors in after the election, we will be lobbying for a licensed brothel in Ipswich.

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“This would bring us in to the 21st century. This trade is on the back streets at the moment and while it is underground it allows women to be abused and it angers locals.

“Locals are fed up with this trade being plied in their neighbourhood - who would not be? It needs to be put in an industrial area away from residents and the abuse taken away.

“As a society we license drink and gambling, I can't see why we cannot be grown-up about this. I don't think for one moment you will ever stop this trade, but it is time to stop the abuse and the locals getting upset.”

Inspector Mark Lewis, of Suffolk police, said Ipswich had a problem with street prostitution in certain areas of the town, but there were no other problems of street prostitution around the county.

“We have an ongoing intelligence-led operation to tackle street prostitution. Home Office guidelines indicate that to establish tolerance zones would be unlawful,” he added.

“Therefore, to try to tackle the problems police officers and community support officers carry out high-visibility vice patrols to deal with prostitutes and kerb crawlers, paying particularly attention to target patrols in the residential areas, which are considered greater areas of sensitivity.

“The main concern with targeting these areas is that the problems can then be displaced towards sauna/massage parlours. We are working closely with our partners at Ipswich Borough Council regarding enforcement at such premises.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said it did not think a licensed brothel would be appropriate for the town.

A spokesman for the Home Office said it published a consultation paper on prostitution in the summer that said attempts at operating a brothel-licensing scheme in Australia and Europe had failed to deliver a safe working environment.

“While some licensed brothels provide some safety and support, there is evidence that some licensed brothel managers actively encourage sex without condoms and some threaten dismissal if there is reluctance to comply with a client's wishes,” it added.

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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