August 21 2014 Latest news:
by John Toner
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A resident has labelled the installation of barriers in front of his estate to prevent prostitution as “preposterous”.
Ian Levene, of Mount Pleasant Estate in Loxford ward, said the barriers make life difficult for less able and elderly residents to let visitors in and stops services like the Post Office and Dial-a-Ride from gaining access.
The barriers are meant to stop prostitutes visiting the area in cars with punters, with Loxford ward and Ilford Lane targets for police operations.
“I suffer with a back problem that renders me inactive at times,” Mr Levene said.
“This barrier means I have to go up and down the stairs in all weathers to let people in.
“I wanted to give fobs to my family and friends so that they could gain entry without me suffering the worry and inconvenience of going up and down the stairs, but was informed that I would have to pay around £8 for each extra one.” He added: “The barrier is a total and utter waste of public money.”
Last year the police made more than 400 arrests in the Ilford Lane area as part of a crackdown on prostitution in Operation Clear Light.
Paul Blackwell, general manager for Dial-a-Ride said: “Our vehicles are experiencing some difficulties at Mount Pleasant Estate. There are temporary measures in place to maintain the service and we will be working with the council to achieve a permanent solution.”
Cllr Filly Maravala (Redbridge Independent Group, Loxford) said he believes that the barriers are essential to help put a stop to illicit behaviour.
He said: “We are fighting prostitution every day in Loxford.
“These barriers are stopping the prostitutes getting into the area in vehicles with their clients. “The council is spending money to address the problem and everyone has to make compromises.”
A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “This barrier was installed to help tackle the prostitution issues in South Ilford.
“Once the barrier was put in place residents were issued with two fobs each with the option of buying additional fobs if required and we have had positive feedback from residents regarding the barrier’s impact.”