First man to be found guilty of trying to buy sex in Ilford made to pay £630
PUBLISHED: 18:00 04 October 2019
A West Sussex man is the first person to be successfully prosecuted by Redbridge Council for attempting to buy sex from a prostitute breaching the borough's Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).
Kunal Sudra, of Woodfield Road, Crawley, was issued with a fine after enforcement officers caught him trying to buy sexual services from another person on Ilford Lane.
After failing to pay the original fine Sudra ended up in court.
He was hit with a fine of £300 and ordered to pay costs of £300 after pleading guilty at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Friday, September 27.
A victim's surcharge of £30 was also imposed.
The PSPO came into force last year, making Redbridge the first local authority in the UK to create a borough-wide zone to stop street prostitution.
It also made it possible for council enforcement officers to hand out £100 on-the-spot fines and disrupt illicit activity on the borough's streets.
Council leader Councillor Jas Athwal said: "I am determined to make our streets safe, and anyone coming to the borough to exploit women should think again. I hope this case will be a warning to others.
"We have a range of measures in place to tackle this issue including automatic number plate readers to identify vehicles coming in and out of the borough.
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"This is in addition to the power to issue on-the-spot fines which could result in a court appearance as in this case."
As well as introducing a PSPO, the council and police have increased enforcement presence in and around Ilford Lane and invested more than £2million in CCTV and ANPR technology which is being rolled out in hotspots to "gather intelligence".
Earlier this year, the council also successfully bid for more than £460,000 from the government to help efforts to tackle street prostitution in the borough.
The money will be spent on developing and implementing long-term solutions, as well supporting male and female sex workers - who are often very vulnerable and may be victims of trafficking and/or coercion - to exit the profession.
"We're doing a huge amount to tackle prostitution in Ilford lane, all of which has dramatically reduced on-street prostitution in the last couple of months," added Mr Athwal.
"However this is a long-term problem which requires a long-term solution.
"The additional government funding will help support all our existing high visibility action, and it will also enhance our work with the women involved, providing the support they may need to exit prostitution.
"It will also be used to improve the environment around Ilford lane and help us reclaim our streets