Vice crackdown on target

IPSWICH is on track to stamp out its vice problem, the man charged with the tactical response to the town's new street prostitution strategy said today.

IPSWICH is on track to stamp out its vice problem, the man charged with the tactical response to the town's new street prostitution strategy said today.

Suffolk police's district commander Chief Inspector Bruce Robinson moved to reassure residents in and around the red-light district that real progress had been made since the launch of the strategy in March.

And Ch Insp Robinson vowed more men would be arrested and others threatened with arrest before the problem was stamped out all together.

He said: “I really do think we're making real inroads into the problem. The arrest figures for a three-month period are very good.”

Already more than 30 men have been arrested for kerb-crawling or other related offences and more than 40 letters have been sent to men who have been caught driving through the red-light district without a good reason.

Almost every one of those men have so far not reoffended - a fact Ch Insp Robinson said suggested the message was getting through.

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He said: “There are fewer kerb crawlers coming into Ipswich than there were at the beginning of the year.”

Only one of the men who have been sent a letter have returned to the red-light district and Ch Insp Robinson said he would be interviewed as to why.

He said: “I've only had one person that's been spotted more than once. That person will be invited to come along to speak to me. That person will be invited to sign an anti-social behaviour contract, which is a pre-cursor to an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).”

Suffolk police is inviting people who live in the area around the red-light district to a residents' forum at Ipswich police station on June 19 at 7.30pm to give their views on the progress of the street prostitution strategy.

One resident who contacted the Star said: “As a woman living on my own it had been a very stressful time for me, having to be very vigilant and never walking anywhere on my own.

“Since the media has gone away and the publicity has died down the police presence seems to have gone as well.”

Ch Insp Robinson said the efforts to tackle street prostitution would not succeed overnight but efforts were being made to help sex workers leave the trade.

Do you think the police activity is working in the red-light district? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

A CHARITY launched in the wake of the killings of five women on the outskirts of Ipswich continues to go from strength to strength today.

The Somebody's Daughter Memorial Fund was created in conjunction with Ipswich Borough Council after the bodies of Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell were found in remote rural locations last December.

All had worked in the sex trade and all were blighted by drug habits.

The campaign's goal is to raise enough money to open a refuge where those embroiled in prostitution and drugs can seek support and guidance.

Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at www.eveningstar.co.uk, in person at Ipswich Borough Council's customer service centre in the Town Hall, by calling 01473 433777, or by sending a cheque, made payable to Somebody's Daughter Memorial Fund, to PO Box 772, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.

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