Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kerb-Crawling Drivers Face Losing Licence in Paddington Vice Purge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kerb-Crawling Drivers Face Losing Licence in Paddington Vice Purge

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD EDWARDS

POLICE have launched a purge on prostitution which attracts up to 3,000 kerb crawlers a year to a residential London street.

Sussex Gardens in Paddington has been a magnet for street prostitutes and kerb crawlers for almost 50 years.

The street is so notorious that it attracts prostitutes from as far away as Scotland and the North, while some men arrested there have made round trips of up to 100 miles from homes in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.

Police and Westminster council are determined to force out the vice trade following the Government's pledge to bring forward plans for a nationwide zero tolerance policy on prostitution and kerb crawlers.

The Met's CO14 club and vice unit is using women officers to pose as prostitutes in the street, arresting kerb crawlers who approach them.

In a new initiative, the men's driving licences are being confiscated.

The prostitutes face being issued with anti- social behaviour orders banning them from the area.

Up to seven women operate in Sussex Gardens from about 9pm every night.

There were 515 prostitutionrelated arrests in Westminster in the past year - 66 for kerbcrawling. In a recent three-day operation, 26 men were arrested for attempting to obtain the services of a prostitute from a car.

Inspector Bob Morgan, of Westminster police, said: "Street prostitution is ruining the quality of life in Sussex Gardens. This new crackdown will disrupt and dissuade the street prostitutes and the kerb crawlers. …

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