Prostitution strategy review due

RESEARCHERS are preparing to give Ipswich its first independent review on how successful its controversial prostitution strategy has been.Specialists from the University of East Anglia have spent months studying the impacts of the town's five year Street Prostitution Strategy and they will present their findings to the agencies involved in the summer.

RESEARCHERS are preparing to give Ipswich its first independent review on how successful its controversial prostitution strategy has been.

Specialists from the University of East Anglia have spent months studying the impacts of the town's five year Street Prostitution Strategy and they will present their findings to the agencies involved in the summer.

Today the three-strong team from UEA's school of Allied Health Professionals revealed they had found a strong determination from people in Ipswich to solve the town's street prostitution problem.

Dr Fiona Poland, a sociologist and the lead researcher on the project, said: “What we're trying to do is pull in different data. We're doing some in-depth interviews with the people who have been offered the support packages.

“Our report is going to say something about what sort of measures have been put in place and how well the processes appear to be working.”

The working party made up of representatives from Suffolk police, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, health agencies and drug and charity groups commissioned the UEA study as a means of gauging whether the measures put in place after the murders of five sex workers in the town would help to get women off the streets.

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The UEA team started work in July last year and is expected to present its report to the strategy group toward the end of June.

Dr Poland said the women interviewed had been “very cooperative and helpful” and she said the determination among local people for a solution to the problem was helping the strategy to have an effect, however she added some of the problems could take several years to sort out.

The £40,000 study is being funded by the Government Office for the East of England and the Ministry of Justice.

The five year strategy has the bold aim of wiping prostitution off the streets of Ipswich within five years.

It was launched following the murder by Ipswich serial killer Steve Wright of sex workers Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Gemma Adams, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.

As well as offering support to women to break free from drug addiction, the authorities have cracked down on kerb crawlers who create a demand for the street sex industry. More than 130 men were arrested in the first year of the strategy.

Do you think the Ipswich Street Prostitution Strategy will work? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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