Kerb crawlers targeted by new strategy

KERB-CRAWLERS are to face unprecedented police attention as Ipswich turns the focus of its efforts to help prostitutes toward stamping out the demand for sex from the street.

KERB-CRAWLERS are to face unprecedented police attention as Ipswich turns the focus of its efforts to help prostitutes toward stamping out the demand for sex from the street.

Suffolk police today revealed the first arrests have already been made and the constabulary's message was clear: the men who prowl the town's red-light district hoping to pay for sex will face the full force of the law.

In an escalation of the town's fight to help sex workers, police warned kerb-crawlers will be tracked using CCTV and identified using number plate recognition 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.


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The iron-fisted measures were unveiled today as part of the county's biggest ever review into the problem of prostitution in the wake of the red-light killings.

For the first time, The Evening Star can reveal full details of the action plan police, councils and prostitution and drug experts hope will help women out of the destructive trade and return a sense of safety to the streets of Ipswich.

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The strategy they have devised 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

new efforts to stem the causes of prostitution, including teaching children about healthy relationships

extra funding and better communication between agencies

The authorities behind the strategy today wrote to 1,000 Ipswich households in and around the red-light area to alert them to the new measures.

In a joint statement they said: “The vulnerability of street prostitutes has been brought sharply into focus following the recent killings in the town and surrounding area.

“Although we already had a strategy to deal with the issue, the events of December brought a new dimension to our work. As a result a new strategy has been commissioned - the draft Street Prostitution Strategy 2007.

“This strategy has a clear aim to remove street prostitution from all areas in Ipswich.

“We accept that this is a very tough target, but we are convinced that as a community we can make a real difference to the lives of the individuals involved, and reduce the disruption to the local community.”

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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