Suffolk

Ipswich murders: Suffolk Police arrest no kerb crawlers in six years

A sex worker at a car Image copyright PA
Image caption Figures from Suffolk Police reveal no kerb crawlers have been arrested in Suffolk over the last six years

No arrests for kerb crawling have been made in the past six years in a town where five sex workers were murdered, police figures show.

A total of 43 prostitution-related arrests were made in Ipswich between 2010 and 2016, but none for on-street sex work, Suffolk Police said.

Steve Wright's killings in 2006 led to moves to shut the red light district.

The Iceni Project, which worked with police, said it was the "best legacy" for Wright's five victims.

The arrest figures, released under a freedom of information request, were in connection with trafficking, keeping a brothel for prostitution and controlling prostitution for gain, police said.

There has been recent speculation that street prostitution had returned, but police and the project said no evidence was found to support this.

The rumours circulated 10 years after Tania Nicol, the first of Wright's victims, went missing.

Officers were sent to the town's Norwich Road on Monday but "no persons of concern were found".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Street prostitution was eradicated from Ipswich after the murders of Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls

Brian Tobin, from the Iceni Project, said: "We can't rest on our laurels, and any anecdotal evidence that we get or the police get, we immobilise immediately.

"I can't believe we would let street prostitution occur in Ipswich again.

"It will be the best legacy of all for the five women that we don't ever tolerate it again."

There had been about 30 women working on the streets of the town when Wright murdered Miss Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell.

A strategy introduced in light of their deaths saw sex workers treated for drug addictions they might have had.

There was also a change in policing, which saw sex workers treated as vulnerable victims instead of criminals.

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