Mugshots of men caught using Ilford prostitutes should be published says campaign group

Should people using sex workers be named and shamed? Picture: Paul Barker

Should people using sex workers be named and shamed? Picture: Paul Barker - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A community group is asking the police and Redbridge Council to launch a name and shame campaign targeting people who use sex workers.

The newly formed Clean Up Ilford Lane group believes kerb-crawlers who have been caught by the Met should have their picture displayed in the borough to act as a deterrent to potential punters.

A spokeswoman 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.

It has launched a poll and said so far 171 residents back the idea, with just eight against it.

“I appreciate the arguments that are against naming and shaming due to reasons of family breakdown etc but we believe the greater good theory applies here in this situation,” the spokeswoman said.

“Furthermore, this puts the spotlight on the users of the service rather than the prostitutes themselves.

“We understand that Ilford Lane prostitution is part of a larger organised crime group and this issue needs to be tackled holistically from every angle -naming and shaming kerb crawlers is just one part of the broader picture.”

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Clean Up Ilford Lane held a meeting with councillors, residents and police about the ongoing prostitution problem.

At the meeting, it was revealed that the local authority has received £500,000 to “stamp out” the issue and ideas were shared about how this could be meaningfully done.

“The council plans to do a step by step naming and shaming, first to caution the kerb-crawlers and send a letter in the post, and if they get caught again then publicise the information,” the spokeswoman added.

“I do not believe this will act as a deterrent -a deterrent in its very nature needs to be so firm so that it puts people off.

Council leader, Councillor Jas Athwal said: “Soliciting prostitutes is criminal behaviour and we need the police support to stamp it out.

“As a council we have enhanced cctv, added Anpr cameras, put in place enforcement officer evening patrols, work to help the women out of their plight and funded street watch to reclaim our area, but we can’t do it alone.

“It’s time as residents we take responsibility, the men using the prostitutes are largely local and we will embark on a process of naming and shaming those caught along with the fines we already issue.

“We will announce training dates for street watch and I look forward to seeing residents there.”