Behaviour changing initiatives to be rolled out in Redbridge to help tackle prostitution in the borough

Published: 9 January 2020

Redbridge has been given the green light to trial initiatives aimed at changing the mindset and behaviour of people engaging in prostitution, thanks to a £20,000 grant.

The funding boost from the Local Government Association (LGA) will support the council in developing and implementing initiatives aimed at changing the attitude and behaviour of those soliciting prostitutes in the borough.

By changing the behaviour of those who purchase sex locally the council is hoping to see a long-term improvement to the local environment in South Ilford, while also helping reduce the need for regular enforcement action.

The LGA grant is in addition to a raft of successful measures already in place to help tackle prostitution and support women, who are often victims, to move away from this type of harmful and dangerous life.

This includes increased police and council enforcement presence on Ilford Lane, the use of CCTV and ANPR cameras and the ground-breaking Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which bans attempts to buy sexual services from another person in a public place.

The PSPO empowers enforcement officers and police to issue on-the-spot fines to those caught breaching the order.

The council will now work towards a plan for the grant funds to explore and test methods of changing local behaviour.

Leader of the Council Cllr Jas Athwal said: “We’re already doing a lot of good work tackling prostitution in the borough working closely with the police and local community, and have seen a huge decline in on-street prostitution.

“However, it’s equally important to focus on changing the mindset and behaviour of those engaging in this type of practice to ensure a shift in attitude that will help deter local people from purchasing sex to begin with.

“We very much welcome this grant and will put it to good use, building on the excellent work we’ve already delivered by putting initiatives in place that focus on changing people’s behaviour.”

Clare, a member of the local Residents’ Group said: “Tackling this kind of issue is quite complex, and there needs to be more than just one approach, which is why the community, police and council are trying to work together on this.

“I think an additional more informative approach to tackle attitudes and behaviours of those engaging in prostitution is a great step forward in finding more long-term solutions for the area.

“It’s about educating people about the criminal element of what they are doing, how it affects lives and neighbourhoods, and ensuring people really understand the consequences of their actions on not just themselves, but also others.”

The council was awarded the LGA grant under it’s Behavioural Insights Programme which encourages innovation in local public services to help people make better choices for themselves and society

More details on the programme can be found on: https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/efficiency-and-income-generation/behavioural-insights

 

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