Redbridge Council plans to issue £100 fines to residents who pay for sex
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Redbridge Council hopes to be the first local authority in the country to issue on the spot £100 fines for attempting to sleep with a prostitute.
It has launched a consultation about bringing in Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which can be used in Ilford Lane and across the borough.
A council scrutiny prostitution working group first suggested using a fining system after residents were concerned about the number of sex workers in Redbridge.
The prostitution PSPO will enable council officers, as well as police to fine individuals they believe, are buying sex.
“This will have an immediate impact on the perpetrator whilst keeping officers out on the street maintaining a strong enforcement presence,” a council spokesman said.
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“The overall aim of the PSPO is to reduce antisocial behaviour and improve public spaces across the borough.
“At present, the burden of proof required to arrest, charge and get a criminal justice outcome in court for kerb-crawlers means that specialist police resources are required.”
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As part of the consultation, residents are also asked if they think that sex workers should be fined.
Speaking at a crime scrutiny meeting held at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road Ilford, a Redbridge police officer said women involved in this industry are largely there under force and should be treated as a victim.
“We have a prostitution strategy of four e’s which looks at exit routes out of prostitution, enforcement, engagement and enviroment.
“At the moment the guideline for engaging with prostitutes is different from borough to borough and we are looking at creating a standard one.
“We will engage with women for many months trying to help them, but we have to operate within the current legislation (which some say needs to be changed) and if they continue we will have to arrest and prosecute all those who exhausted all engagement and preventative measures.”
Leader of the council, councillor Jas Athwal said that Redbridge is hoping to use PSPO fines to eradicate or at least reduce the “prostitute problem”.
“At the moment £100 (for the person buying sex) is what we can do,” he said.
“It is not just about on the spot fine and we really want to help these women - it is a carrot and stick approach.”
To take part in the consultation, visit: consultations.redbridge.gov.uk/s/FYMT4