Plans for three year extension to scheme targeting people using prostitutes

Police catch a punter and sex worker engaged in a sexual act behind a bin. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Redbridge Council is seeking to extend a public space protection order which targets people soliciting prostitution. - Credit: Ellena Cruse

Redbridge Council is asking for feedback on its proposal for a three year extension to a scheme tackling prostitution.

In August 2018, Redbridge became the first London borough to introduce a three year Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to target people using prostitutes.

The scheme allowed police officers and council enforcement officers to issue fines for people caught buying sexual services on the streets in Redbridge.

The PSPO applies across the entire borough and first started in August 2018. 

The PSPO applies across the entire borough and first started in August 2018. - Credit: Redbridge Council

The council said nearly 200 fixed penalty notices have been issued since the PSPO was introduced and the demand for prostitution has dropped significantly.

A spokesperson added that the number of women involved in street prostitution had fallen around 83 per cent.


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There has also been an increase in CCTV monitoring. 

Before this order, only the police could enforce kerb-crawling offences.

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The PSPO also enables fines to be handed out to anyone who is verbally abusive or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to another person. 

The original PSPO is nearing its expiry date and the council is seeking to extend it for a further three years.

Cllr Khayer Chowdhury (Lab, Valentines), cabinet member for crime, safety and community cohesion, said: “Tackling the sale of sex on the streets of Redbridge is a priority for the council.

"To achieve this we were the first borough in the country to implement a scheme dedicated solely to the issue and I am glad to see it has proven effective by reducing the number of people buying and selling sex across Redbridge.

“The increased enforcement powers have deterred people from soliciting in public places and helped make our streets a safer place for residents.

“Extending the scheme will ensure that we can continue to crack down on street prostitution.

"I would encourage all residents to take part in this consultation and give us your feedback on the scheme.”

You can have your say by visiting https://engagement.redbridge.gov.uk/communities/pspoextension/ and filling out a short survey until July 14.

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