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Gemma Mitchell. David Ellesmere joins a police crackdown on kerb crawling in Ipswich in Picture: Jerry Turner. Today, professionals have made a fresh pledge to ensure the problem does not return to the scale it was at in when Steve Wright murdered five women from the so-called red light district.
The number of calls Suffolk Constabulary has received reporting suspected street prostitution in Ipswich has more than tripled over a year, jumping from three in to 10 last year, according to data provided following a Freedom of Information request from this title.
David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said plans for a new and independent system to make it easier for people to call in any concerns were being put in place. Brian Tobin, chief executive of Iceni Ipswich, a charity which was on the frontline when the killings happened to help women overcome addictions, said back then there were around 37 sightings a night. However, the digital age has introduced a new trend in the prostitution trade, with women selling sex online and meeting clients in flats, houses, massage parlours and hotel rooms.
Mr Ellesmere said in some cases there were problems of trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Although prostitution is legal in England, a number of related activities, including soliciting in a public place, kerb crawling and managing or keeping a brothel, are crimes. The law states that a property only becomes a brothel when it involves more than one woman, therefore a woman selling sex from an indoor site alone is legal.
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