There have been no charges or summonses for three years in the borough, and very few across London as a whole.
No action has been taken against pimps, punters or brothel owners in Croydon in the past three years. There would appear to be either no issue with prostitution in the borough, or limited enforcement by police.
At the last count there were an estimated 32, prostitutes operating in London alone, according to official government statistics. These were thought to have around 25 clients each per week. This can be on the street, on call, or in a brothel as part of a tough lifestyle "far from the Pretty Woman image".
Figures obtained by the Advertiser through an FOI Freedom of Information request show, however, that since the start of police have only taken action against prostitution offenders times in the whole of London. Across the capital only 18 of the 32 boroughs recorded any charges or summonses where individuals were accused of committing crimes related to prostitution.
This means that almost half the boroughs in London saw no criminal action taken against anyone seeking sexual services, keeping brothels, controlling prostitutes or trafficking sex workers. In Croydon, and 13 other London boroughs, there has not been a single prostitution prosecution of any kind in the past three years.
Authorities are encouraged to help those working in the sex trade escape exploitation.
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Police guidelines urge officers to direct sex workers to support services, while also "disrupting criminal behaviour". There seems to have been little disruption of criminal behaviour, though, with only 40 offences recorded across London in58 in and eight so far in According to charities offering support to sex workers, the methods of prostitution have changed with technology. Many women are contactable online, and fixed red-light districts are rare.
The trade is also now heavily intertwined with human trafficking. Those involved in the trade are often exploited and abused according to Mark Wakeling of support group Beyond the Streets. The table below shows the limited of boroughs where action has been taken and for what:.
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The business is in the words of police "market driven" and remains lucrative for criminals who exploit sex workers. Prosecution is sought for those who seek to exploit them, but the prostitutes themselves are now better understood as victims of the trade.
There are therefore few prosecutions against prostitutes — but, in London, there also appears to be little action against those exploiting prostitution.
Mr Wakeling said: "There has been a shift away from seeing prostitutes as a nuisance, and away from punishing them. As attitudes change it might not be a priority to investigate prostitution. Despite the lack of charges relating to prostitution, the group has estimated that hundreds of people could be engaged in this work across Croydon.
Call of craig. By Craig Simpson.
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Police have not charged one single person for exploiting prostitutes in croydon in three years
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