Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Six prostitutes in Leeds given ASBOs

Six women who worked as prostitutes across Leeds have been given anti-social behaviour orders banning them from areas of the city, following work by Safer Leeds – the city’s crime and disorder reduction partnership – and local Neighbourhood Policing Teams.

Candice Craven, 24, of Bramley, Sade Kamara, 24, of Beeston and Roisin Smith, 20, from Woodhouse all received full three year ASBOs at Leeds Magistrates' Court yesterday after officers from the Holbeck and West Inner Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) and staff from Leeds City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit offered evidence of the women's work as prostitutes in the Holbeck and Wortley areas of the city.

Under the terms of the orders, all three women are banned from entering parts of Wortley and Holbeck and from loitering in any public place throughout West Yorkshire for the purpose of soliciting for prostitution.

The three women previously appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court on Friday, 22 January, where interim ASBOs were granted against them.

On the same day three other women - Amanda Hughes, 38, of Beeston, Donna Wadkin, 42, of Hunslet and Tracey Wheelan, 19, of Alwoodley - received five-year ASBOs banning them from areas of Holbeck or Wortley.

A seventh woman, Kathryn Nicholson, did not attend court. Her case will go to trial in April.

The orders against the six women are the culmination of the work of the two Neighbourhood Policing Teams, along with the City NPT, and Safer Leeds under a special initiative to deal with prostitution issues in the Holbeck and Wortley areas.

Operation Dairy was launched last year, and during one weekend of action in October more than 50 people were stopped. Seven women were arrested for prostitution offences and nine women agreed to voluntary Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs). Seven men also agreed to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts(ABCs) after being stopped for kerb-crawling.

As part of the operation, those arrested were tested for class A drugs, with those who tested positive given referrals for treatment and support.

Women arrested for prostitution who had problems with other issues such as housing or benefits were also offered help and support.

Supt Simon Whitehead, Chief Officer for Safer Leeds said:
“These antisocial behaviour orders are a key part of our strategy to deal with the problems caused by prostitution in Holbeck and Wortley.

"Safer Leeds staff have worked alongside the Neighbourhood Policing Teams, offering support and advice to change the behaviour of the women who are involved in prostitution and the men who use their services.

"Prostitution adversely affects the quality of life of ordinary people living and working in the affected areas. That is why we are working so hard to address the problems and why it has been so important to secure these Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.”

Inspector Damien Miller of the Holbeck Neighbourhood Policy Team said:
"Our officers have been working hard to tackle prostitution in the area because local people have told us this should be one of our policing priorities, and over the last year we have carried out a number of successful initiatives and operations to deal with the problem.

"Securing these anti-social behaviour orders is a huge step towards putting a permanent stop to the problems, and we will continue working alongside other agencies to achieve this "

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council Press Office (0113) 224 3937
e-mail michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk