Crackdown on vice continues

AS THE police crackdown on Ipswich's vice trade continues it is not surprising that some of the people caught up in the campaign are more sad than evil.

AS THE police crackdown on Ipswich's vice trade continues it is not surprising that some of the people caught up in the campaign are more sad than evil.

That is certainly the case with Roy Lawrence who admitted a charge of soliciting and was yesterday given a conditional discharge for the offence.

But the fact is that if people like Lawrence did not go cruising around the red light area looking for prostitutes, there would be no street prostitution.

So it is absolutely right that the police should crack down on the people that cruise the red light area in an attempt to get rid of this nasty trade once and for all.

The tragic events at the end of last year which led to the launch of our Somebody's Daughter campaign to develop a centre to offer support to drug users who might get sucked into the dark world of prostitution continues to provide a clear reason why the sex trade must be targeted by police.

Those selling their bodies on the streets are victims of society - they were first lured into the world of drugs and can find no other way of paying for their fix by selling themselves.

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The new prostitution strategy is starting to produce its first results as people start to appear in court after being caught soliciting in the red light area.

Every right-thinking person will be hoping this strategy succeeds and that the men who use prostitutes will soon start to get the message that they are likely to be caught.

And when they are caught they will come up in front of the magistrates and face the prospect of public humiliation and the wrath of their families.

NEW figures showing that emergency calls to the ambulance service have doubled over the last decade show the difficulty faced by the service in the 21st century.

That is a clear indication of the difficulties faced by the service during that time - difficulties that have been shown by our ongoing AmbulanceWatch campaign.

Of course many of these calls will have been for genuine emergencies - but many others may have been for situations which would have been better dealt with by a visit to the A&E department, the minor injuries' unit, or even a call to NHS Direct.

People need to be aware that emergency ambulances are there for just that - emergencies - and should resist the temptation to call them for trivial reasons.

And the service itself must continue to regard each call as vital - and to aim to reach their call as fast as possible.

IT is good to hear that the rat snake found in Christchurch Park at the weekend seems to be none the worse for his little adventure - whether the couple who found him can face the prospect of another visit to the park isn't so clear!

No one is clear how long it has been in the park, but if it had been there some time it would have had no shortage of food - these snakes will happily eat small mammals like rats and squirrels which can be found in abundance there.

But the prospect of a four-foot long snake distantly related to a boa constrictor in the park might not be the ideal attraction to bring in the crowds as its restoration continues apace.

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