The Home Office Review of Effective Practice in Responding to Prostitution
The Home Office document draws on a number of field visits and case studies from across the country including Ipswich, highlighting examples of effective practice.
Full document here.
Case study: Ipswich
Helping women involved in street prostitution to stop using drugs was an important part of
the multi-agency approach in Ipswich that helped significantly reduce the number of
women involved in street prostitution. Action taken to achieve this included:
- Prioritising funding for residential drug rehabilitation for sex workers ;
- Funding Community Drugs Team to offer extended opening hours;
- Supporting voluntary sector project ICENI to provide specialist support to help
women in street prostitution to stop using drugs.
- 85 women have been in contact with the project, and around 30 are still being
intensively helped (although 4 of these are ‘hard to reach’);
- 85 off-street premises have been visited and around 40 foreign national women have
been offered help;
- Of the 30 women being helped, 8 women are ‘clean’, and 19 are still in drug
treatment. 26 are housed, and 4 homeless.
The policing strategy in Ipswich involves zero tolerance approach to kerb crawling, with an
explicit strategic aim to remove all street prostitution from the town. Features of this
- Reducing demand by introducing a zero tolerance and robust enforcement of the law
on kerb crawling, utilising all available technology such as CCTV and Automatic
Number Plate Recognition (ANPR);
- Where appropriate, the police will engage in intelligence-led enforcement activity using
anti social behaviour legislation to tackle persistent street prostitution and kerb
- To discourage street sex markets by improving the environment such as increased
street lighting, CCTV and alley-gating along with regular clean ups and the removal
of needles and used condoms.
The approach to those involved in prostitution is less punitive and more supportive. Those
arrested are provided with information and support services and every effort is made to
encourage them to seek appropriate support.
Approximately 18 months after the launch of the strategy in 2007, kerb-crawling and street
prostitution had been effectively eliminated in Ipswich (with no evidence of displacement to