‘Suspected brothel’ shut down after complaints from neighbours
- Credit: Archant
A suspected brothel has been shut down by police after complaints from residents.
Police and Redbridge Council officers joined forces to investigate reports of a brothel operating from a home in Charlbury Gardens, Goodmayes.
The force vowed to investigate suspected brothels within 48 hours of them being reported as part of a crack down on sex crime in Redbridge.
Cllr Kam Rai (Lab, Goodmayes) said: “I’m really pleased to see that joint working from residents, council and police has resulted in this swift action. It was fortunate that I and residents had local information which meant we could easily and quickly contact the landlord.
“We have been working closely with the police to help tackle brothels in the borough and offer support to women involved in prostitution, and it’s good to see the results of this work.”
Officers visited the property and contacted the landlord who evicted the tenants for breach of contract.
Insp John Fish, Redbridge’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team lead, said: “My officers will continue to take immediate action to close brothels wherever we find them on the borough.
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“Anyone who has concerns relating to this or any other crime or anti-social behaviour is asked to contact their local Safer Neighbourhoods Team on 101.”
Cllr Rai added: “It can be difficult to track down a landlord and make them aware of the issues within their property but this process would be streamlined, if the council’s proposed property licensing scheme were to go ahead.”
Temporary brothels are often set up in rented flats without the landlord being aware. They can be quickly closed down using a number of methods. This can include contacting the landlord to evict the individual for breach of their tenancy agreement or using new Anti-Social Behaviour legislation to close the property either partially or completely.
The Police and the Council are developing a joint brothel protocol which will form part of the updated prostitution strategy.
The Police will agree to visit a brothel within 48 hours of it being reported to them to investigate any allegations and to allow them to carry out a welfare check on any of the women who may be working at the location.
These welfare visits are conducted alongside Redbridge Councils outreach service to engage with and provide support to the women involved.
Since the launch of the outreach service at the beginning of April, two days of these joint visits have been carried out.