Kerb crawlers in Bradford could soon be sent on speed awareness-type courses as part of efforts to stamp out prostitution in the city.
Superintendent Vince Firth, of the Prostitution Strategic Partnership (PSP), said innovative ways of dealing with the issue included a course to learn about things such as the effect on communities.
He was talking at a meeting of Bradford West Area Committee last night, where prostitution and what is being done to tackle it, was on the agenda.
The meeting came a day after two of the city’s MPs called for kerb crawlers to be named and shamed.
George Galloway and Gerry Sutcliffe claimed publishing the registration plates of vehicles used by people trawling the streets for sex would help rid Bradford of its red light reputation.
Supt Firth told the committee about the positive work being done by the PSP, but added: “We do not see it as job done. We still have lots of work to be done and we are working on some really innovative things.
“One thing is sending men who are kerb crawling on a course. They have to pay to go on it.
“It’s a bit like being caught speeding - you either get the opportunity to go to court or go on a course. It’s the same sort of principle, you would learn about the effects of prostitution on the community.”
Supt Firth also added: “We are looking at naming and shaming some of these people, but we have to be really careful about how we do that. We have got a proposal for how we do it sat with our solicitors at the moment.”
Majid Khan, a resident and businessman in the affected area, praised the work of police in tackling prostitution, but said the problem was still there.
He added: “We request more police, Council and community resources, otherwise the problem is going to come back.
“It is very hard as a resident when families are being targeted for sex business.”
Supt Firth said: “We really don’t underestimate the damage prostitution does to communities. It has really affected the quality of life of some people.”
He added: “I think the community has acted exceptionally well – the restraint, understanding and commitment they have shown has been fantastic.”