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Prostitution documentary binned after reaction from Ilford shopkeepers

PUBLISHED: 14:54 17 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:54 17 January 2013

»Shopkeepers have said a TV documentary about prostitution in Ilford would have created a “red light area for the next 10 years”.

A meeting was held on Sunday for residents and business owners to raise their objections to the documentary, which was due to be filmed this weekend.

In light of the heated debate filming is not going ahead.

The meeting was chaired by Abdula Razzaq, chairman of the Loxford Ward Labour Party.

Mr Razzaq, 59, said: “The problem is everywhere, it’s a local issue and it needs to be dealt with locally by police and the local authority. Yes there is a problem and the more it’s publicised the more people will come here.”

He said one of the reasons they did not want the issue televised is the impact it would have on people considering moving to the area and property values.

“It will become a red light area for the next 10 years,” Mr Razzaq said: “It effects the community and house prices will go down and ruin the area because it’s a write off. We don’t want it to be a national issue.”

Impact

About 50 people attended the meeting, which was held at the League of British Muslims UK Ilford Community Centre, Eton Road, Ilford.

Concern over the impact on local businesses was something echoed by Khalid Hussain, chairman of the South Ilford Business Association.

Mr Hussain said: “It will give us a bad reference for the shopkeeper and the business there. I don’t want to have unnecessary advertisements. People will think it’s not safe, they will stop their families from shopping here.”

Prostitution in Ilford Lane, Ilford has been a long running issue with residents demanding more to be done to combat the problem.

Chairman of Loxford Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel, Pat Miller, 55, of Mayville Road, Ilford, said: “I think it’s disgusting to see the girls hanging around on the streets at 8pm at night.

“One lady told me she was sitting in her car with her husband and the prostitute didn’t mind. She was there asking him if he wanted business.”

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