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Redbridge first borough in the UK to fine people for sleeping with prostitutes and it has brought about 22 prosecutions since scheme was launched three weeks ago.

PUBLISHED: 16:51 25 September 2018

Locations and working hours are posted on the website and some of the women didn't even know they were on there. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Locations and working hours are posted on the website and some of the women didn't even know they were on there. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Archant

If you thought those little yellow tickets were just used for parking fines, think again.

Police catch a punter and sex worker engaged in a sexual act behind a bin. Picture: Ellena CrusePolice catch a punter and sex worker engaged in a sexual act behind a bin. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Redbridge is the first borough in the country to issue fines for sleeping with a prostitute after a historic problem with sex workers in Ilford Lane.

Three weeks since the launch of the Prostitution Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) police officers have issue 22 prosecutions, 81 dispersal notices, 14 prostitute cautions and eight arrests,

Police sergeant, Lee Wilkinson of Ilford Town Centre & Loxford ward said prostitution is made worse by some residents creating a demand for sex workers.

“The introduction of the new Prostitution Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been very successful to date,” he said.

Residents claim a man was stabbed in the throat and died.Residents claim a man was stabbed in the throat and died.

“In three weeks we, along with Redbridge enforcement officers, have prosecuted 22 people for breaching it.

“We fully intend on enforcing this PSPO as much as we can to reduce the impact of prostitution on the community.

“Unfortunately the issue of prostitution is made worse by some local residents who create the demand for sex workers in Ilford Lane.

“Community leaders can help police and the local authority tackle prostitution by highlighting the PSPO and the risk of prosecution if residents are caught engaging with sex workers.”

Used condoms are a common sight in some parts of Ilford.  Picture: Ellena CruseUsed condoms are a common sight in some parts of Ilford. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Councillor Kam Rai, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for finance and resources said the local authority is taking a “zero tolerance approach”.

“We are really proud that we are able to go after men who take advantage of these vulnerable women on the spot, and not just the prostitutes,” he said.

“Families should feel safe, walking though Ilford Lane without feeling harassed.”

It is not the first time that the council has been inventive in a bid to make the environment better for residents and it won an interim injunction banning illegal Traveller encampments acorss the borough in June this year.

“We are always working on new and innovative ways, through legal processes and partners such as the police, to make a positive difference for our borough,” he added.

“We know that the police are stretched and we are always looking to make their life easier and make changes for the benefit of our residents.”

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