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Kerb-crawlers to face panels of 'shame'
6:00am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
Kerbcrawlers are to go face-to-face with angry Bradford residents, blighted by the sex trade on their doorstep.
Two men, caught soliciting for prostitutes in Lumb Lane, Manningham, are to meet people in the area to hear at first hand how their actions have upset them.
The unusual crimebusting tactic is part of a pioneering police project to tackle the problem in the Bradford district.
It follows the example of Neighbourhood Resolution Panels, which bring together criminals and their victims to agree, with trained volunteers, on restorative action in the community where low level crime or anti-social behaviour has taken place.
But this is thought to be the first time kerbcrawlers will face the residents their behaviour has affected.
The initiative has been announced by the Manningham and Toller Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) following the separate arrests of the two men last weekend.
One man was detained for kerbcrawling at 5am. The other man handed himself in at Lawcroft House police station after officers received evidence of him soliciting a prostitute in Lumb Lane. He was shown the evidence and fully admitted the offence.
He was given an Acceptable Behaviour Contract, by the Anti-Social Behaviour Team, with a number of conditions which would lead to his arrest and prosecution if he broke them.
He was also handed a Community Resolution, in which he agrees he will be liable to arrest if he enters an area of Manningham, defined by a map, unless for work purposes.
The Manningham and Toller NPT said the men would meet residents sometime this week.
A spokesman for the NPT said: “This is unusual as it will involve some of the residents of Lumb Lane and the two males who have been involved in soliciting others for the purpose of obtaining their sexual services as a prostitute.
“The residents will be able to speak to the males and explain to them how their actions have upset them. This will be done in the presence of a third party who can mediate the meeting.”
Bradford Council deputy leader, Councillor Imran Hussain, the executive member for safer communities, and a member of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, said: “For these men to sit together with the residents is a step towards realising their mistake.
“Hopefully they will understand they are affecting other people’s lives and it will stop them from carrying out this type of activity.”
Coun Hussain said he was aware residents were concerned about prostitution and related drug problems in that area, which was disturbing the quality of their lives.
He said: “Police and their partners are taking this very seriously and a lot of work is being done in that area.
“Residents being able to sit down with some of the people using these services allows them to air their concerns directly and help these people to understand the problems they are causing.”