|Crackdown on Kerb Crawlers in Southall|
Police arrest men in response to residents concerns
A total of 42 men have been arrested in a crackdown on street prostitution in Southall.
Operation Tolkein in an ongoing programme by the Safer Southall Police Problem Solving Team, funded by Ealing Council, and assisted by local Safer Neighbourhoods Officers.
Between July and September 42 men were arrested, 25 have been charged, 9 summonsed, and 8 remain on Police Bail.
Chief Inspector Colin Wingrove, from Ealing Police, said:
“We want to send a strong message that approaching a woman and asking her for sex will not be tolerated. We have responded robustly to residents concerns about the presence of men approaching women in the street, on foot or in cars, asking for sexual services.
''We have sought to make the streets safer by targeting those men and take action against prostitutes causing a nuisance to local residents.
''So far we have charged and summonsed a total of 34 men in connection with soliciting offences in the Southall area, under section 51a of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
“The operation is an on-going operation and pro-actively combats the persistent problem of so called “kerb crawling” and associated offences. Residents, particularly women have told us they felt less safe at night because of the problem. The area is benefiting from fantastic regeneration projects and partnership working which will boost Southall’s reputation. We are doing all we can to help that happen, restore pride to the area, and most importantly make residents feel safer.”
It is the view of Ealing Police that positive, robust prosecutions of these men are necessary to make it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated.”
All were arrested between July and September. They have been charged or summonsed with soliciting a person in a street or public place for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from them as a prostitute (contrary to section 51A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003).
Most have been bailed or summonsed to appear at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Monday 23 September 2013. 8 other men, arrested as part of the operation, remain on police bail pending further inquiries. This operation will continue.
Cabinet member for community services and safety, councillor Ranjit Dheer, said: “This is unacceptable anti-social behavior in our community, as everyone has the right to walk down the street without feeling intimidated and harassed. We will continue to work closely with the police to deal with this issue.”
September 23rd 2013