The Oldest Profession

New crackdown - Dundee

Published in The Dundee Evening Telegraph
2nd June 2009

Men who pick up prostitutes on the streets of Dundee have been warned they will be a target for the city’s new Community Task Force. The team of a sergeant and six constables, which has previously been deployed in Arbroath and Blairgowrie, swung into action yesterday by raiding a city flat where drug activity was suspected.

But Sergeant Carol Ann Brown, in charge of the task force, has warned that her team — who are focusing on the Hilltown and Stobswell areas — also aim to clean up prostitution in the city. “We started last week in Dundee familiarising ourselves with the people in the area involving themselves in prostitution,” she said. “We will be out there making ourselves known and making it as uncomfortable as possible for people involved in that type of activity.”

Last year saw the staging of Operation Kerb, which focused on streets in the Maryfield area — including Broughty Ferry Road — known to be the local “red light district”. The police operation took advantage of new legislation targeting prostitutes’ clients and saw Tayside’s first arrest of a man in connection with soliciting.

Sergeant Brown said her team would be focusing on both prostitutes and their clients and issued a stark warning that they would be working hard to disrupt such activity. “There will be mobile patrols and cycle patrols around the area. We will also use unmarked cars,” she said. “There is an identified area where they all go and we will be out there making people aware that we are going to close that behaviour down.”

She added that as well as enforcement, the strategy on prostitution would also include offering support to the women involved. She said, “Drug abuse is often a factor in prostitution and we will be offering support to some of the regular (prostitutes) to try and get them out of the lifestyle that leads to them prostituting themselves.”

Councillor Ken Lynn, whose Maryfield ward encompasses Broughty Ferry Road, said he was delighted the task force would be focusing on the issue. “Prostitution is something that has been a big problem that I have been approached about by a number of my constituents,” he said. “It is great to hear that the Community Task Force will be turning their attention to this issue. It is brilliant news and I am sure it will be welcomed by everyone in the area.”

In March, a new initiative to tackle the ongoing problem of prostitution in the Broughty Ferry Road area was unveiled during a meeting of the Stobswell Forum.

The Vice Versa project is a one-year pilot programme aimed at reforming prostitutes and taking them off the streets.

The CTF will also be targeting anti-social behaviour, youth disturbances and other crime during its deployment in Dundee.