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

 


Surge in reports of suspected brothels in Swindon

Published by The BBC
28th April 2016


Wiltshire
The number of reports of suspected brothels in Swindon has nearly doubled in a year, the BBC has learnt.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that in 2014 Wiltshire Police received 60 reports, however this rose to 112 in 2015.

The force said the rise is partly due to increased public awareness, and the internet "assisted this type of crime".

Officers also found many of the women arrested are being trafficked from Poland and Romania.

Detective sergeant Chris Hitchcock said: "We are seeing an increase in the girls brought across. The Eastern European crime groups are involved.

"Not every girl that we come across has been trafficked, but they are largely vulnerable. The girls are often subject to assault and put in financial debt as well. With that comes quite a degree of control over them."

Wiltshire Police said tackling the issue of "pop-up brothels" is a priority for the force.
 
 

 

Arrests made in Westminster drugs and prostitution crackdown

Published by Get West London
26th April 2016


London
Police have teamed up with other organisations in the Westminster drugs and prostitution crackdown. Gangs running drugs and prostitution rackets around the Paddington area have been targeted by police.

Operation Vanadium saw police and other organisations join forces to combat gangs profiting from drugs, prostitution and sexual exploitation offences in Westminster, with particular focus on Edgware Road and Sussex Gardens areas. It was launched on April 22 and resulted in the arrests of three people. Cash totalling £10,000 was also seized as part of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The crackdown was supported by Westminster Council, Immigration, and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who all contributed towards the intelligence-led operation, which allowed it to encompass immigration, licensing and tax offences. Several anti-exploitation charities also assisted, offering victims advice and support in escaping criminal gangs.

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Corrigan, who led Operation Vanadium, said: “The operation was aimed at arresting those who seek to profit from illegal drugs and the exploitation of vulnerable people. We’re sending a message to criminals that London is a hostile environment for this type of activity, and that those who are involved can expect to be caught and punished. We are thankful for the support from all the partner agencies involved.”

Three 36-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of money laundering offences. They were bailed to return on a date in July.

Read more...

Andrew Logue, of Chatham, cleared of keeping brothel in Larkfield

Published by Kent Online
26th April 2016


Kent
A man has been cleared of involvement in running a brothel after the prosecution dropped the case against him on Tuesday. Andrew Logue, of White Road, Chatham, had denied keeping a brothel in Ingram Close, Larkfield, for the purpose of prostitution between February and June last year

Prosecutor James Lofthouse told Maidstone Crown Court the decision not to proceed further against the 30-year-old had been taken following the trial last week of Tomas Ziemys. The 31-year-old Lithuanian was jailed for three-and-a-half years for controlling prostitutes and running brothels. He had been accused of operating 10 brothels in Medway, Maidstone and London.

Mr Lofthouse said the Crown had reviewed the case against Mr Logue in light of evidence given at Ziemys’ trial when there was legal argument about the legal definition of a brothel. He was convicted of two offences of controlling prostitution for gain and seven of keeping a brothel used for prostitution and acquitted of the remaining charges.

Judge Jeremy Carey branded it “a pretty murky world”.