Prostitutes, condoms and kerb crawlers: Special meeting called in Ilford
Prostitutes lining street corners, used condoms left in alleyways and kerb crawlers were some of the complaints made by Loxford residents at a special meeting on Monday.
It was held by police and Redbridge Council to explain what they are doing to try and counter the issue.
Environmental improvements, police enforcement, helping women leave prostitution and informing the community of progress were all suggested as strategies.
But residents at the meeting in Ilford Baptist Church, Ilford Lane, Ilford said too little is being done and their opinions are not being listened to.
Redbridge Council officer Russell Ward said they had installed lighting and gates around Loxford which had “displaced” some of the prostitution activity.
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Mr Ward said: “On Mount Pleasant Estate the drying areas were used for prostitution activities. We locked these areas and displaced and reduced the levels of prostitution in them.”
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Covert operations have also been launched by police as well at a dispersal zone put in place meaning police can move groups of two or more people on who are not from the area.
Ch Insp John Fish, in charge of the safer neighbourhood teams in Redbridge, said: “We are using all the powers in our toolbox to target this.
“If you removed the market place the women will go, we look to the community to give us information.”
Linda, who has lived in Roman Road, Ilford for more than two decades, said that residents needed to be listened to more.
She added: “Loxford has deteriorated in the 26 years I’ve lived here. Everybody feels we have been neglected. We are paying victims.
“We have kerb crawlers driving round the block all the time and girls on the street corners.”
A lack of investment in Loxford has been highlighted by Bashir Chaudhry, of Cecil Road, Ilford as the cause of the prostitution problems.
He said: “Something has to be done. They are not addressing the real issues which are social deprivation, high youth unemployment and lack of facilities.”
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