Officers in north London have launched a dedicated team to tackle the number of sex workers in the Upper Edmonton area.
The team is made up of one sergeant and six police officers. They will work alongside Enfield Council partners and outreach workers to engage with the women and offer them the services of an Independent Sex Worker Advisor and other referral facilities.
The team will look at reducing, if not eradicating, persistent workers and kerb crawlers who frequent the area along with targeting associated addresses. They will work varied shifts, which will allow them to target the problem through the day and night.
Inspector Erica Crawshaw, from the North Area Basic Command Unit, said: “We recognise there has been an entrenched prevalence of sex workers in the Upper Edmonton area and local residents want action. This will not be a quick fix but we will implement strategies that are achievable and long term, undertaking different policing methods to achieve this.
“We will be using powers and legislation available to us. With the assistance of the Met’s Modern Slavery team and various outreach services, we will support women who choose to exit out of the sex trade.
“Our aim is to engage with the women and target those who exploit and control them rather than tackle it with enforcement. We will not tolerate those who come to or from within the area who proposition females and solicit them for the purpose of prostitution. Our long term plan is for local residents to live in an area that they can be proud of.”
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, Councillor Nneka Keazor, said: “Enfield Council has done a tremendous amount of work in partnership with the police and the voluntary sector to tackle prostitution and its root causes in Edmonton.
“We welcome the addition of a dedicated police team to help deal with this issue and look forward to working with them to reduce crime and disorder associated with prostitution and also improve the quality of lives for residents who are forced to witness this unwelcome and anti-social activity on their doorsteps.”