Brothels targeted in war on Derby vice trade
A MAJOR new police operation to combat street prostitution and the running of brothels in Derby has been launched.
In response to complaints from residents and businesses in the Normanton area, Operation Darnell has been set up to crack down further on the vice trade.
Inspector Richard Keene, who is in charge of policing in the area, said: "Residents and businesses have said that the street sex trade and the running of brothels was becoming quite open and it was affecting their quality of life.
"High-visibility patrols were only effective when officers were there but the prostitutes and their clients returned once we had left the area.
"This initiative aims to identify and take action against kerb crawlers, gather intelligence on brothels and close them down, identify and offer support to sex workers and identify any cases of sexual exploitation or trafficking."
The first brothel closure was planned earlier this week after intelligence had uncovered that two Romanian women were running a house for sex in Portland Street, close to the Pear Tree Infant School and just minutes away from a police station.
PC Carl Anderson, a vice specialist at Pear Tree police station, who was going to lead the bust on Tuesday night, said: "The landlord had been told about what was going on in the property but had wanted us to deal with it.
"We had a warrant to enter the house, arrest the women and any occupants that were inside."
But before officers could execute the raid, the women gave their keys in and vacated the property.
But the problem with which police have to contend in the area was highlighted minutes later, when three known prostitutes were seen working on Pear Tree Road despite the rain and cold.
One street worker, who would not be named, spoke about her life and work.
She said: "I do this to get money for crack and so I don't have to rob houses and make other people be victims for how my life is.
"I hate it, I hate my life. I have been raped – the sooner a punter kills me the better."
And nearby, a new brothel has opened up with two more Romanian women working inside.
PC Anderson said: "The Romanian girls generally work inside, are not drug addicts and will always tell you that they want to do it.
"They are also a lot more forceful and aggressive in their selling of sex. They will approach men in the street, no matter who they are, which can cause great offence."
Residents in the area are hopeful the scheme will tackle an issue that has blighted their lives for more than 10 years.
One said: "You have to see it to believe it.
"They even asked my 70-year-old father when he came round in the middle of the day to visit her if he wanted sex."
Another said: "It is like the Wild West around here."
Inspector Keene said: "We have widely publicised the consequences of being caught coming into Pear Tree and Normanton. It is disappointing that so many men have failed to heed our warnings. Any man we catch risks losing his job and possibly his home and car.
"We will continue to keep this campaign running and we will come down hard on those we find engaging in this criminal and anti-social activity."
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