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Police step up patrols in red light area

PUBLISHED: 22:25 27 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 March 2010

POLICE patrols have increased to help stop prostitutes plying for trade outside residents' houses.

As the Star revealed earlier this month soliciting and kerb crawling are the crimes residents want targeted as the biggest priority according to a new survey by Gipping Ward Community Group in Ipswich.

POLICE patrols have increased to help stop prostitutes plying for trade outside residents' houses.

As the Star revealed earlier this month soliciting and kerb crawling are the crimes residents want targeted as the biggest priority according to a new survey by Gipping Ward Community Group in Ipswich.

At a meeting of the town's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, members heard prostitution was clearly impacting on the whole area and also brought associated problems like litter, privacy and security.

Partnership member Chief Inspector John Fletcher of Suffolk Police said: "There is now an increased police presence in the area and two community police officer posts empty through sickness are now resolved.

"There has been quite a lot of action in relation to prostitution, both by dealing with people kerb crawling in the area or those females working in the local area."

He said officers had also used their new power to arrest kerb crawlers.

Ch Insp Fletcher said in the past three months, four people have been charged for loitering, 34 women cautioned for loitering, and 15 men were cautioned for kerb crawling

Letters have also been sent out to registered keepers of cars which frequent the area.

Councillor David Ellesmere praised police action to date and said : "Residents have noticed a big difference."

Members heard a project was underway to assess the needs of vulnerable women who resort to prostitution to fund their cocaine habit.

The Community Drugs Team are also actively working in the area.

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