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News of raids, prosecutions, robberies, assaults etc from the world of punting

 


Woman, 23, is charged with prostitution offences after modern-day slavery raids

Published in The Daily Mail
24th August 2017


Hampshire
A 23-year-old woman has been charged with prostitution offences following a series of raids as part of a crackdown on modern day slavery. Sorina Georgiana Ursa was among four people arrested during an operation linked to the sex trade, in which three women were rescued and are now being treated as victims by the police.

Officers raided four locations in Portsmouth, Hants, yesterday, arresting Ursa, a second 26-year-old woman and two men, aged 23 and 31.

Ursa is due to appear before magistrates in the city, after being charged with two counts of controlling prostitution for gain. The other three have been released from custody while still under investigation.

Hampshire Constabulary said three residential homes and a business premise were raided as part of the 'proactive intelligence-led operation', which is being assisted by the National Crime Agency and immigration officers.

Detective Sergeant Simon Clifford, from Hampshire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: 'This was a proactive intelligence-led operation.  The investigation which now follows will be complex and involves colleagues from the National Crime Agency and UK Visas and Immigration.

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‘My aim is to make life on Leeds streets safer’

Published in The Yorkshire Evening Post
24th August 2017


Yorkshire
Street sex work is inherently dangerous so it will surprise few people to learn that trying to make things safer for the women involved is at the heart of the ‘managed approach’ in Leeds. The YEP has reported this week on the concerns residents hold about the sex trade spreading beyond the agreed streets in Holbeck and into neighbouring residential areas as well as how the scheme evolved.

But Emily Turner, an outreach worker with Leeds charity Basis, understands better than many how it is having an impact on the ground. “There was a guy driving around asking the women to set him up with an underage girl,” she said. “Three separate women all reported different pieces of information.”

A few years ago this man might never have come to the attention of the police because the women would not talk about why they were out on the streets for fear of arrest. Now that they are allowed to seek trade within certain hours, there has been a real change in their relationship with police.

In 2013, just 13 sex workers in Leeds reported crimes against them and none were willing to give them names to enable the perpetrators to be prosecuted. Two years later, crimes reported by the city’s sex workers had risen to 61 and, crucially, 54 per cent of the women gave their details compared to 26 per cent nationally.

Emily said: “That is huge. That is evidence. That’s the important thing about the managed approach based on real evidence. Thinking is not good enough, we need to know why it works.”

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Suspected brothel closed down by police

Published in The Birmingham Mail
23rd August 2017


West Midlands
A suspected brothel has been closed down by police. Officers first visited the property on Thimblemill Road, in Smethwick, in July, following numerous complaints from local residents.

West Midlands Police said they discovered three Romanian women who admitted they were “using the premises for sexual services”.

Jessica Redmond, a police engagement officer in Sandwell, said: “Officers closed down what they believed to be a brothel operating in Smethwick. Officers discovered three Romanian females openly admitting to using the premises for sexual services.

“Officers continued to monitor the premises immediately thereafter in response to several complaints by residents before getting in touch with the letting agent, sexual exploitation team and immigration.”

PC Gurpreet Gill, from West Midlands Police, said: “The occupants left the building, taking their belongings with them. We will not tolerate any activity that is going to undermine public safety and affect community life.