There has been a historic problem with prostitution in Abbey. We thought we had tackled it but unfortunately the problem has returned. I have heard from many residents who are affected. There are groups of people loitering late at night and some residents have even found used condoms in their gardens. I am determined to sort this problem out once and for all so that people can feel safe in their neighbourhood at any time of night or day.
I recently held a street meeting with the Police and Council to listen to residents’ experiences and try and find a solution. To tackle the problem the Council and the Police have implemented a dispersal area and are issuing enforcements again men buying sex in the area. They are also improving the environment for residents by cleaning up any debris and are supporting the prostitutes who are often vulnerable women.
The work to tackle the prostitution is partly funded by the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime. At the moment the police and Council simply do not have enough resources, so I have written to Stephen Greenhalgh the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to ask for more money urgently.
Unfortunately this is not a problem that will go away overnight. It is clear that the situation is more complicated than in previous years and I understand that it may now be part of a wider network organized across East London.
However I will continue to monitor the situation and will meet with the Antisocial Behaviour Team and the Police before Christmas to see what progress has been made.