‘Bring back prostitutes to Ilford Lane’: Men pelt police with eggs after crackdown ‘eradicated’ sex workers

Police officer talking to a sex worker in the Ilford Lane area. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Police officer talking to a sex worker in the Ilford Lane area. Picture: Ellena Cruse - Credit: Archant

Residents who were disappointed that prostitutes were almost eradicated after a police crackdown in Ilford Lane have thrown eggs, hurled abuse and slashed officers’ car tyres in a bid to bring them back.

Speaking at an external scrutiny committee meeting, on Friday, October 11, a Met Police spokesman said: "People want their prostitutes back.

"Men shout at us to go away, slash our tyres and we get egged.

"We try to speak to people at community days, but men want them back."

Councillor Khayer Chowdhury said anyone that was "giving the police grief about it could jog on".

"Redbridge Council will show total zero tolerance to those who think they can verbally or physically abuse out police and enforcement officers," he said.

"We support all the work they've done on Ilford Lane on tackling prostitution."

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John Richards of Redbridge Council said the police crackdown has reduced the number of regular sex workers from 30 down to 3.

He also said the demographics of the ladies offering services has changed from almost exclusively eastern European and Romanian to British drug addicts.

Through noting home addresses of fined punters, Redbridge Council has plotted a map showing where they live.

Mr Richards revealed that 52per cent of those caught lived within a mile of Ilford lane, 74pc lived two miles away and 82pc lived within four miles of Ilford lane.

"We need to change the beliefs of local men - and it is local men," he added.

"We are getting intelligence about who is using the girls and we will be targeting them."

Police and the council are treating the sex workers as victims of either coercion or circumstance and are helping them access the right services to get out of the profession.

Speaking after the meeting, a spokeswoman for Clean Up Ilford Lane said the street prostitution is gone, and will not be coming back any time soon if the residents, police and council have anything to do with it.

"You can't go and ask for the police to let the prostitutes come back because you're missing them.

"It's not like going to a normal shop and asking if they have something you want in stock.

"The prostitutes are gone and will not be coming back. If anyone breaks the law they should be arrested."

The group said it will advocate for the rights of the women so that they have the right support in place and will also lobby for kerb crawlers to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law

"These women are being supplied to fulfil the demands of these gross men," she added.

"We, therefore, need to be tough on the buyers of sex so it sends out a message to the criminals that they no longer have a thriving business here - we need to end the demand.

"The buyers of sex are perpetuating the cycle of violence against these women. They are the problem."

"If you [the punter] come to Redbridge, the police and council will be robust and take the necessary action. Zero Tolerance to all the criminals."