Redbridge Council wins £460k to help ‘reclaim streets’ from prostitution

Redbridge Council will use the �460k funding to tackle prostitution in the borough. Photo: Yui Mok

Redbridge Council will use the �460k funding to tackle prostitution in the borough. Photo: Yui Mok - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Redbridge Council has secured more than £460,000 to help tackle street prostitution in the borough.

The government cash will be spent on developing and implementing long-term solutions, including supporting women trying to leave prostitution.

These solutions include working closely with the community and delivering "hard-hitting campaigns" to discourage perpetrators and those from further afield.

The funds will also be put towards implementing the environmental improvements recommended by specialist crime reduction advisors to reduce the likelihood of prostitution.

The last few months have seen an increased police and council enforcement presence on Ilford Lane to combat crime and make these areas safer.

These joint enforcement, high-visibility patrols have already reduced street prostitution in the area, the council says.

CCTV and ANPR enforcement, intelligence gathering, and tasking are also being used to counter trouble hotspots in the area.

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Council leader Councillor Jas Athwal said: "As a council, we're already doing a huge amount to tackle prostitution in Ilford Lane.

"We've put in place enhanced CCTV and ANPR cameras and have added extensive enforcement patrols in the evening, all of which has dramatically reduced on-street prostitution in the last couple of months.

"But this is a long-term problem which requires a long-term solution.

"This additional funding will help support all our existing high visibility action, and it will also enhance our work with the women involved, providing the support they may need to exit prostitution.

"This fund will also be used to improve the environment around Ilford Lane and help us reclaim our streets for local families."

Councillor Bob Littlewood, cabinet member for crime, safety and community cohesion, added: "We have been working with local councillors, residents and the police to tackle prostitution and to lay plans for environmental improvements to the Ilford Lane area.

"This grant will help us to achieve a transformative programme in line with what residents want.

"The Loxford and Clementswood Residents Association deserve praise for their patience and their ideas and for participating in Streetwatch - providing much needed intelligence for police and the council on anti-social behaviour and environmental crime."

The council successfully bid for the grant from the government's Controlling Migration Fund, which was launched in 2017 to ease pressure on services.