Big turnout to discuss blight of prostitution on the streets of Ilford

More than 150 people turned out for a meeting on prostitution to voice their concerns over the impact it is having on Redbridge.

Researchers from charity Eaves, which helps vulnerable women escape violence, gathered residents’ views on the problem.

The project was commissioned by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, with residents split into groups and asked about the sex trade in the area, particularly around Ilford Lane.

Chairman of Loxford Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel, Pat Miller, 55, of Mayville Road, Ilford, said: “I think it’s disgusting to see the girls hanging around on the streets at 8pm at night.

“One lady told me she was sitting in her car with her husband and the prostitute didn’t mind. She was there asking him if he wanted business.”

The charity is visiting five boroughs in London deemed to be prostitution hotspots and the findings will then be presented to the Mayor’s office in August.

Mrs Miller said: “At 2am outside one woman’s house there was a fight between a prostitute and her client because he didn’t get his money’s worth.

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“He was hollering ‘give me my money back’. By the time the police arrived they were gone, him with a bloody mouth.”

The meeting was held at Ilford Methodist Church, Britannia Road, on Tuesday of last week.

An issue repeatedly mentioned was parents’ concern over the impact prostitution was having on their children.

Loxford ward councillor Filly Maravala said: “One parent said her child actually picked up a condom and thought it was a balloon and then she had to explain what it was.”

He continued: “Another said they couldn’t send their 14-year-old daughter to the shops without her being accosted.”