Nottingham Post: Operation tackling kerb crawling

16 men tried to buy sex in The Arboretum over just two nights

And six vehicles were identified as ‘cruising’ the area

A total of 16 men attempted to buy sex or sexual services in The Arboretum area in just two nights, it has been revealed.

They were identified by Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution team during an operation tackling kerb crawling and people paying for sexual acts with street workers.

The majority of the men, identified on September 11 and 12, will have voluntary interviews at a later date. And it is thought a number of them will attend a one-day rehabilitation course and receive a police caution.

A further six vehicles were identified as ‘cruising’ the area, with people looking at women stood in the area and slowing down or even stopping to speak with them, without having gone on to commit the full offence of solicitation for a sexual service.

Warning letters were issued in relation to this.

Up to 15 street workers were offered support over the two nights, and, where necessary, signposted to organisations supporting sex workers, such as POW and the Jericho Road Project.

Sgt Paul Whitehead, of Nottinghamshire Police, who leads the team, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results over the two nights and thank all those involved for their contribution.

“For us the operation highlights the high numbers of men still coming to The Arboretum with the sole purpose of purchasing the services of street sex workers and lots more needs to be done to deter these offences.

“We are committed to identifying and educating men away from this behaviour or prosecuting where necessary.

“We continue to work with our sex worker specific partners and other organisations to offer support and services to the street sex workers, particularly those that have complex issues such as drug/alcohol addiction and homelessness.”

The rehabilitation course was first used in Nottingham in 2002. Police say it has a 96 percent success rate in relation to repeat offenders.

Since 2004, nearly 1,800 men have been dealt with in relation to buying sex.

Of those, more than 1,100 have been put forward for the course. Only 40 of those men have gone on to re-offend.

Earlier this year, NottinghamshireLive followed Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution Task Force to learn more about the operation.

More than 200 letters were recently sent out to people living in the area, asking them to get in touch if they were experiencing problems.

However, campaigners explained why women may turn to street work.

A spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes said: “At a time when poverty, destitution and homelessness are rising in the UK, and when more women particularly mothers are going into prostitution to survive and feed families, local councils, agencies and the police should not be focused on increasing criminalisation.”

https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/16-men-tried-buy-sex-3387883