Gloucestershire

Gloucester GP picking up sex trade condoms 'daily'

Dr Allan Harris
Image caption Dr Harris finds items on a daily basis

A GP has said he is picking up needles and condoms every day in a city suburb that has a lot of sex workers.

a GP at Bartongate Surgery in Gloucester, said he found the items on a daily basis despite a promised crackdown by police.

He said he was worried children might find the needles where there was the potential for "hepatitis C [and] HIV transmission."

A police spokesman said they had been working for "many years" on the issue.

Image caption Needles and condoms are found on the street and schol playing field

Angela Anderton, head teacher at St James Junior School, said due to exposure to the matter, children at the school had made comments "you wouldn't expect at that age".

"Staff occasionally clean up sharps" and regularly have to remove evidence of alcohol and drug abuse in order for the children attending the school to safely access the playing fields.

Dr Harris said: "It's a real worry and its a stark reminder of just how prevalent drugs issues are in Gloucester."

Petition

More than 200 people signed a petition calling for a clampdown on sex work in Barton in June 2017 but Gloucester City councillor Said Hansdot said nothing had changed.

"It's no good putting them behind bars because that wouldn't solve anything," he said.

Jason Keates, Gloucester neighbourhood policing inspector, said the force had "been trying to work with local councillors to resolve the issues".

"It's important that councillors and the local community continue to report evidence of drug use and prostitution.

"We also ask that communities think about how vulnerable women can be supported to get away from the sex trade," he said.

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