Essex

Prostitution calls in area of Southend 'are falling'

Calls to police about prostitution in part of an Essex town have fallen significantly in the past 12 months.

Essex Police has attributed the decrease in Southend to its work with street workers and kerb crawlers.

It received 56 calls about prostitutes working in the Ambleside Drive area in 2010, compared to 179 in 2009.

Police said they had carried out high visibility and covert patrols in the area since March 2009 to try to deter woman from soliciting for sex.

They have also gathered evidence against those who refuse to stop, and their customers, leading to 32 arrests under Operation Tressle.

Support with addictions

Pc Jon Martin said: "Our primary aim is always to offer the women help and support.

"We work very closely with outreach workers who come out on patrol with us to approach the women and offer them help in the form of support for their addictions, employment and housing."

Pc Dan Hedges added: "Operation Tressle has been a success because residents tell us there are fewer girls hanging around and fewer kerb crawlers looking for them.

"That doesn't mean we've completely solved the problem however.

"Operation Tressle is ongoing and we're going to continue making arrests and working with outreach workers to try and help those who want to beat their addictions.

"Those who don't want to be helped will be taken to court and banned from the area."

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