Community vows to clear up area
A COMMUNITY is fighting back today after residents living on the edge of Ipswich's red light district vowed to rally together to clear up the area.Residents in London Road gathered for the first general meeting of their neighbourhood watch group last night with the emphasis on new beginnings and a desire to tackle some of the problems which have blighted the area.
A COMMUNITY is fighting back today after residents living on the edge of Ipswich's red light district vowed to rally together to clear up the area.
Residents in London Road gathered for the first general meeting of their neighbourhood watch group last night with the emphasis on new beginnings and a desire to tackle some of the problems which have blighted the area.
Plans were in place to resurrect the community forum prior to the alleged murders of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24 and Annette Nicholls, 29, but their deaths heightened support for the scheme.
Last night, one resident said it was not just these women and their families who were the victims, but those living in the area too.
He said: “There are other victims here - that is us.
“There is a stigma and we all share in the shame. The whole of Ipswich shares in it, not just London Road.”
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One resident said those living in the area had been “let down in the past” and said the events of the last few months had finally brought the issue of street prostitution to the fore of people's minds.
Inspector Bruce Robinson, Suffolk police's sector commander , said a new strategy was being implemented to tackle vice and that simply moving the problem on was not a solution.
He said: “With the strategy we are introducing, we are looking at the overall picture, not just ridding the streets of prostitution but what we can do for these sex workers in terms of encouraging them to get out of this lifestyle.
“We want to say 'here is a way out of the lifestyle, here's some support and if you don't use it there will be Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and prison, etc.”
“We have almost got to take these people, pick them up and put them at the door of support services and when they walk away we have to put them back there again.”
He said increasing CCTV in the area was another element of the strategy.
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