Purge on Leeds prostitutes and kerb crawlers

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Three kerb crawlers were snared by police during the latest crackdown on prostitution in Leeds.

Police also arrested or cautioned 30 women caught soliciting for sex in Holbeck as officers launched a clampdown following complaints from residents and businesses.

The three men caught have signed Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and pledged not to repeat their kerb crawling activities.

If caught again, police can apply for an antisocial behaviour order, banning the men from streets in Holbeck frequented by prostitutes.

The latest phase of Operation Dairy – launched in 2009 – was carried out over two weeks, one in late July and one earlier this month.

Officers from Holbeck Neighbourhood Policing Team worked in tandem with Leeds City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team,

Of the 30 women arrested or issued Home Office cautions for prostitution, seven have agreed to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts which prevent them from returning to the area.

For 14 of the women this was their second Home Office caution in three months, which means that if they are caught a third time they can be charged with a prostitution offence and face court.

Police are seeking to secure Anti-Social Behaviour Orders against the women, banning them from returning to the area.

Anyone who breaks the terms of the ASBO could be jailed.

Women arrested as part of Operation Dairy are automatically drug-tested and offered help and advice by support workers.

Insp Damien Miller said: “Operation Dairy has been extremely successful and for long periods of time we have had no reports of prostitution on local streets.

“But we are always alive to the possibility that it could easily emerge again.

“We will be continuing the operation in the weeks and months ahead, and ask that anyone with information about prostitution in the area contacts the Neighbourhood Policing Team immediately so we can send officers as soon as possible.”

To report prostitution issues to the NPT, contact 0113 2414629 or 0845 6060606. Or call Leeds City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour hotline on 0113 2224402.