June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Amanda Nunn
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Residents in Ilford say the number of prostitutes in the area has swelled, despite steps being taken to combat the problem.
In September, a number of measures were introduced to try and address the issue but residents say this is pushing the prostitutes into other areas.
In the six months following the crackdown, 12 prostitutes and 13 kerb crawlers were arrested and 100 prostitutes were issued cautions.
Philip Dixon-Phillips, 64, of Hamilton Road, Ilford, said: “When I go out in the evening in the short walk to the Shell garage in Ilford Land, there’s been between six to 12 prostitutes.
“We are being fobbed off and I’m not satisfied with the approach that’s being taken.”
Efforts have included using re-locatable cameras to gain intelligence of people picking up prostitutes as well as overt and undercover operations by the police.
Mr Dixon-Phillips added: “You can tell by the traffic flow when the police are around. When they’re not it moves much slower as people are looking for prostitutes. It’s a red light district.”
In a report submitted to the environment and community safety scrutiny committee in March, the estimated cost for a zero tolerance policy was estimated at £347,160 a year.
It would pay for eight additional police officers, undercover operations, improved street lighting, fencing and two outreach workers, among other things.
Heidi Czermak, 63, has lived in Ilford Lane for 35 years.
She said: “At 11pm they’re standing outside. They’re not even hiding it anymore, it’s all out in the open.
“I’ve spoken to one of them who was a pretty girl of about 19 but they all say they need the money. It’s organised crime”
A petition submitted in November received 2,528 signatures from residents in the area.
Ward Cllr Filly Maravala said: “The police are doing all they can and are working with residents, we need more money to try and eliminate prostitution from Loxford.”