Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 16:45 UK

'No prostitutes' on Ipswich roads

Prostitute - anonymous image
The police operation targeted the streets of Ipswich

Prostitutes have stopped working the streets of Ipswich, new figures from Suffolk Police have suggested.

A campaign began in March 2007 after five women, who worked as prostitutes, were murdered by Steve Wright.

Local drug addiction charity, the Iceni Project, estimated there were up to 26 street workers a year ago.

The scheme to help vulnerable women off the streets has been so successful no prostitutes have been seen for nearly two months, the charity said.

As part of a zero-tolerance approach, 137 kerb-crawlers were arrested in the one-year period, but none have been caught since the end of March.

Police said they made their last arrest for kerb-crawling 70 days ago.

The scheme also saw support offered by social services to those tackling drug addictions.

Supt Alan Caton said it was the first time in 25 years a strategy against prostitution had been so successful.

The Iceni Project, said it agreed with the police that there were no street prostitutes left in the town.

There is no intelligence to suggest they've moved to other towns
Brian Tobin, Iceni Project

Brian Tobin, of the Iceni Project, told BBC News: "There might be the odd one, but that's very rare, certainly there's not been any over the last six weeks.

"We've worked with all 22 of the street prostitutes, we keep contact with them on a daily basis.

"There were only around 26 prior to the murders, including half-a-dozen who would work very occasionally - all were hardened drug users.

"One or two do work in brothels, and one or two might have a private punter but there is no intelligence to suggest they've moved to other towns."

The bodies of Ms Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls were found over a 10-day period near Ipswich in 2006.

The naked bodies of the women, aged between 19 and 29, were found in December 2006. Wright was given a whole life sentence in February and told he would spend the rest of his life in prison.

Project cuts town's prostitution
26 Dec 07 |  Suffolk
Cash for prostitute action plan
26 Mar 07 |  Suffolk

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