Four Derby sex dens closed as police step up action against prostitution on streets
POLICE in Derby are ramping up their efforts to keep kerb crawlers and prostitutes out of the city.
In the past month, four brothels have been raided and closed by officers linked to the ongoing Operation Scarlett, which is tackling vice in Normanton and Pear Tree.
The move has led to officers writing to three private landlords whose properties were being used as sex dens, warning them about who they rent to.
Additionally, Derby City Council's crime prevention team have funded a permanent CCTV camera to be put up in Portland Street, an area where sex workers are known to operate.
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From today, dedicated patrols will be stepped up in the evening by uniformed and undercover officers seeking to warn kerb crawlers away from the area.
PC Carl Anderson, from Operation Scarlett, said the four brothels closed down were in Portland Street, Hartington Street, Normanton Road and Rutland Street.
He said: "As a result of locating and identifying these properties as being used as brothels we have written to the landlords.
"In the letters we have advised them that we will be monitoring their properties to ensure that they will not be used again in the future by sex workers.
"In some cases a private landlord might rent his flat or house out to someone who will pay cash and there is no tenancy agreement.
"Then, three girls might move in and the next thing the property is being used as a brothel, attracting people into the area who might be looking to pay for sex."
Operation Scarlett, launched earlier this year, saw police name and shame those caught and convicted of coming to Normanton and Pear Tree looking for prostitutes. There were also high- profile patrols by a dedicated team of officers in the area.
Because of the problem of prostitutes and kerb crawlers, an independent residents' group was set up which also patrolled the streets to deter kerb crawlers coming to the area. It was not endorsed by the police.
In court last week, one member of the patrol, 24-year-old Jordan Tudge, was handed a six-month community order for slapping a Romanian prostitute in the face in a takeaway.
Inspector Richard Keene, who is in charge of policing in Pear Tree and Normanton, said tackling prostitution was one of their top priorities.
"It is a problem that we will never cease to pursue in order to improve the quality of life for people living and coming to the area.
"We are grateful to the council for funding the CCTV and also for the advice and support we receive from the charity Women's Work, which works with prostitutes to get them away from a life of vice.
"This week we will once again have a high-profile presence on the streets working hard to deter people coming to the area seeking to pay for sex and to get sex workers off the street."