CCTV camera's role in city's long war against prostitution
A NEW CCTV camera in a prostitution hot spot in Mapperley has been welcomed by residents and an MP.
The camera at the top of Elm Bank in Mapperley Park, which was paid for by Nottingham City Council, is helping Notts police catch kerb crawlers and identify prostitutes who wait behind the wall at the corner with Mapperley Road.
Penelope Dowell, 25, a resident of Elm Bank, said she had noticed a marked improvement in the prostitute problem since the CCTV camera was installed last month .
She said: "I used to see prostitutes standing on the corner at the top of the road in the past.
"It can be uncomfortable, particularly when my partner has been walking past and said they approached him. However, I'm pleased the camera has been put in place and I've certainly seen less women standing around the road since.
"I just hope they are safe and are getting the relevant help to get them off the streets."
The camera is the result of a partnership between Mapperley ward city councillors and the Notts Police on-street prostitution scheme.
The camera contains automatic number plate recognition technology, which records regular kerb crawlers' registration plates.
Letters are then sent to the owners of the cars to warn them that they were driving in a red-light area.
MP for Nottingham East Chris Leslie said he was impressed with the work being done in Mapperley.
He said: "Residents in the area had been contacting me about the problem of prostitution near their homes, so I recently met with Mapperley councillor Emma Dewinton and Inspector Paul Harris from the Notts Police on-street prostitution team.
"I was impressed with the recent CCTV and technological developments with the registration plate recognition.
"There's a lot of good work going on in the area to prevent women ending up in this terrible situation and the public need to know about it. But the good work must be kept up to stop this issue going underground."
Mapperley councillor Emma Dewinton said the CCTV camera was already helping to tackle prostitution in the area.
She said: "We have worked hard with police and residents to problem solve a local hotspot for antisocial behaviour and crime.
"The CCTV provides evidence, including number plate recognition of suspect cars, and will support existing patrols. It will be reviewed at regular meetings with residents."
Inspector Paul Harris of the Notts police on-street prostitution team said: "Since 2004 when there were 250 to 300 active prostitutes on Nottingham's streets, there are now below 50. We will continue to implement CCTV cameras in prostitution hot spots in areas such as Mapperley and to offer courses to stop men who we catch kerb crawling from reoffending.
"We will keep working hard to keep prostitutes off the street and help them change the course of their lives, away from that cycle of drug addiction and prostitution."http://oldestprof.com/index.php/crimewa ... ostitution