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Community group disappointed after police confirm they won't name and shame Ilford prostitute punters

PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 May 2019

Police will not name and shame punters. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Police will not name and shame punters. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Archant

After taking legal advice, police have confirmed they will not name and shame punters in Ilford and are not in the business of "breaking up families".

Resident group Clean Up Ilford Lane launched a poll about publicising offender's mugshots and believes kerb-crawlers who have been caught by the Met should have their picture displayed in the borough to act as a deterrent to other potential users.

A spokeswoman for the group said residents want to be able to walk down Ilford Lane without stepping over “dirty, used condoms” and are fed up with having tricky conversations with their children about the scantily clad women on the street corners.

“The law is protecting criminals,” she said.

“The women are the victims in this.

“Some of the reviews online of the men using the women are disgusting.

“In one entry one man said 'I paid her £20 and she was crying but I carried on as I wanted to get my money's worth'.”

“Some of the users are women haters and the law wants to protect them?”

Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham tri-borough commander, Jason Gwillim, said police do see the women as victims, however, identifying perpetrators may be detrimental.

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“I suppose in essence I can see the reason why people would want to reveal the names of people using the services of prostitutes, but we have to be really careful,” he said.

“There are some negative implications to this tactic.

“One of the things we are really keen on doing is looking at the range of optics to tackle this really difficult issue which has been about for many years in this area.

“While it might be perfect obviously to resident what is going now there, it is harder to get evidence that we can take to court that is effective and will stand the test of the court.”

Mr Gwillim explained that police are looking into why women get involved in the sex trade and they are taking advice from other areas who have similar issues.

“We certainly do see the sex workers as victims and what we are doing is working with those sex workers to find out why they are in that industry,” he explained.

“We give them support to get out but it is quite a complicated issue.

“We are also looking at other areas where prostitution has been tackled and seeing what leaning we gain from places like Ipswich and up north.”

As previously reported on, Mr Gwillim said officers are thinking up new ways to tackle the sex trade in Ilford and has plans in the pipework - including disqualifying convicted punters from driving.

“It's great to have the support of the community - all of us together in a partnership approach - as that is the only way we are going to succeed by working together,” he added.

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