Complaints About Prostitutes Fall

13 January 2011, 06:00 | Updated: 13 January 2011, 12:25

Calls about prostitution in Southend have gone down by 69 percent in the past year after police started an operation to tackle the problem.

Operation Tressle started in March 2009 after residents said they were finding used condoms and needles in their driveways.

Police have increased high visibility patrols to stop women flagging down drivers and soliciting for sex.

Since then 23 prostitutes and 9 kerb crawlers have been arrested and two prostitutes have been issued with Anti-Social Behaviour Orders banning them from the area.

Many of the prostitutes admit working on the streets to fund drug addictions.

Pc Jon Martin said: “Our primary aim is always to offer the women help and support. We work very closely with outreach workers who come out on patrol with us to approach the women and offer them help in the form of support for their addictions, employment and housing.”

Calls to police about women working in the Ambleside Drive area of the town went down from 179 in 2009, to 56 last year.

Pc Dan Hedges added: “Operation Tressle has been a success because residents tell us there are fewer girls handing around and less kerb crawlers looking for them.

Essex Police say they haven't completely solved the problem though and the operation's ongoing.