Redbridge Council secures first successful prosecution for breach of borough’s Public Space Protection Order
Published: 3 October 2019
A man from West Sussex is the first to be successfully prosecuted by Redbridge Council for attempting to buy sex from a prostitute breaching the borough’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).
The PSPO came into force last year, making Redbridge the first local authority in the UK to create a borough-wide zone to stop street prostitution.
It also made it possible for council enforcement officers to hand out £100 on-the-spot fines and disrupt illicit activity on the borough’s streets.
The offender from West Sussex was issued with a fine after enforcement officers caught him trying to buy sexual services from another person on Ilford Lane.
After failing to pay the original fine, the offender ended up in court. He was hit with a fine of £300 and ordered to pay costs of £300 after pleading guilty at Barkingside Magistrates Court on 27 September 2019. A victim’s surcharge of £30 was also imposed.
The PSPO is just one of a raft of measures put in place to tackle prostitution in the borough.
As well as increased police and council enforcement presence in and around Ilford Lane, over two million pounds has also been invested in CCTV and ANPR leading to enforcement, intelligence gathering, and tasking being used to counter trouble hotspots.
Earlier this year, the council also successfully bid for more than £460,000 to help efforts to tackle street prostitution in the borough. The government cash will be spent on developing and implementing long-term solutions, as well supporting women to exit involvement in prostitution.
Women and men involved in prostitution are often very vulnerable and may be victims of trafficking and/or coercion. Redbridge council seeks to support those who wish to exit whilst putting pressure on those that are willing to pay for sex.
Leader of the Council Cllr Jas Athwal said: “I am determined to make our streets safe, and anyone coming to the borough to exploit women should think again. I hope this case will be a warning to others.
“We have a range of measures in place to tackle this issue including automatic number plate readers to identify vehicles coming in and out of the borough. This is in addition to the power to issue on the spot fines which could result in a court appearance as in this case.”
“We’re doing a huge amount to tackle prostitution in Ilford lane, all of which has dramatically reduced on-street prostitution in the last couple of months.
“However this is a long-term problem which requires a long-term solution. The additional Government funding will help support all our existing high visibility action, and it will also enhance our work with the women involved, providing the support they may need to exit prostitution.
“It will also be used to improve the environment around Ilford lane and help us reclaim our streets for local families.”