Working girls clampdown in red light area

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CONCERNED residents claim prostitutes are blighting their neighbourhood despite police saying the number of vice girls working the street has reduced by 75 per cent.

In the latest crackdown against working girls police cautioned 18 women for soliciting or loitering for the purposes of prostitution.

The cautions handed out in the last month comes after residents living in Thorne Road expressed concerns to neighbourhood officers.

A teams of police officers, PCSOs, special constables as well as council neighbourhood response teams and wardens have carried out patrols.

Pc Steve Roberts said: “Prostitution is an issue which has an impact not only on the quality of life for residents, but on the women who are involved.

“Positive action will be taken to try and tackle the issue, however assistance and support will always be offered to the women to try and get them off the streets.

“We will also take action against anyone who is found using the services of prostitutes. “

The first stage of the problem was to try to identify the women who regularly solicit in the red light area.

These women were then also provided with help and support to assist them and to try to rehabilitate them, taking them off the streets.

The last figures police released in June 2010 showed that the number of prostitutes had plummeted by 75 per cent after a crackdown led to 150 fewer vice girls in the red light area. At the time police said 200 working girls were known to police five years ago, but that had plunged to 50.

Streetreach, which offers advice and support to help turn women away from selling their bodies for sex, said 30 vice girls operated in the borough compared to 250 a decade ago.

Officers will continue to monitor the situation. Anyone with concerns should contact police on 101 or visit www.southyorks.police.uk and entering their postcode.