Ilford’s prostitutes given marching orders in crackdown

SIXTY-six people were stopped and issued with tickets as part of the ongoing battle against prostitution in Loxford Lane.

The area, which has been dubbed Ilford’s “red light district”, was targeted by plain clothes officers across two evenings last month.

Eighteen officers from Loxford’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, working with officers from Redbridge Council’s CCTV unit and antisocial behaviour team stormed the area, which has become a hotspot for night workers, in the latest in a series of late night operations.

The operation was organised by Sgt Douglas Fyfe, from the Loxford SNT, as part of their proactive strategy to combat prostitution and kerb-crawling in Ilford Lane.

“We had a very successful evening on this particular crackdown,” he said.

“We issued 17 tickets for people using threatening words and behaviour, and arrested 12 women for alleged prostitution.

“The message I would like to get across is if you are involved in prostitution and kerb-crawling in Ilford Lane, you can expect to be seeing us at the police station in the very near future.”

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The battle to clear Ilford Lane has continued for years but last year things were looking up when extra lighting and hedges were cleared to open up the area, making it harder for kerb-crawlers to operate.

Cllr Filly Maravala (Labour, Loxford), who has fought prostitution in the area, says he hopes the latest crackdown will help to reduce the problem.

“It does feel like we are fighting a losing battle sometimes, but we have to remain alert and positive that we will fight this.

“It is so sad that parents have to walk with their children past this sordid area, which has become known as Ilford’s red light district – it is such a shame.”

“We saw a big drop in prostitution in September when the area was regenerated and the lighting was put in place, but the problem has escalated yet again.”