Moves to combat vice trade

VICE patrols in Ipswich now have new high visibility signs, in their latest move to combat prostitution.As the Star featured in March, police know their fight against vice is a never-ending one.

VICE patrols in Ipswich now have new high visibility signs, in their latest move to combat prostitution.

As the Star featured in March, police know their fight against vice is a never-ending one. But today they welcomed the arrival of 'vice patrol' vehicle badges, which let both criminals and residents see that they are on the case.

It is hoped the new signs will deter crime, and reassure residents.

Efforts are continually being made to persuade the prostitutes to ply their trade in Portman Road and West End Road instead of outside peoples' homes.


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A vice team has been set up consisting of five officers with a keen interest in the areas affected by vice.

Beat officer for part of the area, Pc John Banks, was realistic when he admitted: "Things are not getting any better -it's an ongoing problem which we are very aware of. We move them on, and an area will be clear for a couple of months, but not for long.

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"Prostitutes come from Colchester and Clacton, Norfolk and Nottingham, and kerb crawlers come from all over the place – the majority are from outside Ipswich and some come from as far away as the top end of Cambridgeshire."

Pc Banks said many of the girls had received two street cautions within 12 months, and been arrested on the third occasion they were stopped by police. Some have reached the stage where they will soon come before the courts.

Kerb crawlers are first given a warning and their details kept on the police's national computer, then if caught a second time they are arrested and cautioned. On the third occasion they are arrested and charged – but some can be arrested when they are first caught, if there is enough evidence to prosecute.

Since the crackdown started earlier this year, officers have witnessed 58 incidents involving prostitutes, and dealt with 24 kerb crawlers.

Three kerb crawlers have been taken to court, eight cautioned and 12 given warnings.

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