Kerb-crawling blitz total nears 70

IPSWICH'S blitz on the men who fuel the demand for street prostitution has seen almost 70 individuals caught in the act.Today The Evening Star can reveal that between March 6 - when Suffolk police began its biggest ever crackdown on kerb crawlers - and the beginning of this week a total of 63 men had been caught.

IPSWICH'S blitz on the men who fuel the demand for street prostitution has seen almost 70 individuals caught in the act.

Today The Evening Star can reveal that between March 6 - when Suffolk police began its biggest ever crackdown on kerb crawlers - and the beginning of this week a total of 63 men had been caught.

Since then several more are believed to have been cautioned, bringing the total closer to 70.

Of those cautioned up to July 9 - the latest official figures available - 48 were arrested for kerb crawling, nine for outraging public decency and five for persistent soliciting of women for prostitution. One man was reported for kerb crawling.

Twenty four of those cautioned were from Ipswich, 14 were from other areas of Suffolk, ten were from Essex (mainly north Essex), four were from Cambridgeshire and 11 were from outside East Anglia.

Among the latest arrests were a 56-year-old man from Felixstowe who was cautioned for kerb crawling after being spotted in Portman Road at 9.40pm on Monday.

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He was seen to approach a prostitute standing at the junction of Handford Road and Portman Road before the pair walked to his car in a nearby car park.

Officers then arrested a 41-year-old from Ipswich and cautioned him for kerb crawling after he was seen to approach a prostitute in Bolton Road at 11.25pm on Monday and walk towards a dark area with her.

Suffolk police have reported that the crackdown on kerb crawlers is having an impact on the number of men seeking to use prostitutes and the number of women working on the streets.

In announcing the progress of the operation earlier this month, Chief inspector Bruce Robinson, the town's district commander, said: “We are making life more difficult for kerb crawlers.

“Our role is about reducing demand and we are putting lots of resources into this. As a result, the numbers of girls on the streets is reducing, too.”

AN Ipswich man was today due to appear before magistrates as the latest to be charged with soliciting a prostitute in the town.

Michael Brand, 31, from Spinner Close, was arrested and charged on Tuesday.

He was bailed to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court today.

Do you support the police crackdown on kerb crawlers? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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