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Police make 400 arrests and cautions in prostitution crackdown

PUBLISHED: 08:52 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 08:52 12 February 2014

Police have made almost 400 arrests and cautions in the last year in a crackdown on prostitution around Ilford Lane.

As part of Operation Clear Light, 76 prostitutes have been arrested for offences including loitering and soliciting and 281 more were cautioned.

A report presented to Redbridge Council’s cabinet last night said kerb crawlers were also being targeted to stop them visiting the area.

Speaking at the meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, Cllr Shoaib Patel (Lib Dem, Valentines) said that of four suspected kerb crawlers in court in January, two were fined, one was cautioned and one man was awaiting trial after pleading not guilty.

He added: “The aim is to stop people from using the area.”

An average of five prostitutes are seen in Ilford Lane a night, he said, which is less than before the operation.

An outreach programme is also being offered to women to help them leave the industry and combat addictions.

After complaints from residents, car parks, alleyways and flower beds used by prostitutes with clients are being fenced off or removed.

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