Families take matters into their own hands to combat prostitution in Barking
- Credit: Archant
Rife street prostitution in a residential road has seen families take matters into their own hands.
Janet and Victor Gibbard are among a number of residents in Victoria Road, Barking, who have installed CCTV cameras and lights in a bid to banish prostitutes who they claim tout for business and perform sex acts in cars and alleyways along the road.
Residents, some with children, have told the Post they find used condoms strewn in the alleyways by the side of their homes and that prostitutes visit the street most nights.
“The last few months it’s been getting really bad,” said Mrs Gibbard, 68, who has spent close to £2,500 on high-end CCTV cameras which line the outside of her home.
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“Why should we put up with it? It is utter filth. We don’t expect to have to live with prostitutes going up and down all night with their punters.”
Mrs Gibbard, whose two youngest granddaughters, aged two and 14, visit regularly, has recorded hours of footage of the women – who are sometimes picked up by kerb-crawlers right outside her home.
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An 82-year-old resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had recently installed a spotlight on her house after finding used condoms and tissues in the side alleyway.
“I’m very worried and frightened by it,” she said. “I’ve got to stop it, I can’t have somebody at the side of my house doing that.”
Another resident, 45, with four children — one just 11 — said: “They are actually causing a nuisance to local people.”
A spokesperson for the Met said an operation was already underway aimed at tackling prostitution in the borough.
They added since September three arrests had been made in the Abbey Ward area, which includes Victoria Road, along with fourteen cautions as part of the operation.
“We understand the misery that can be caused to local residents by prostitution and the anti social behaviour associated with it,” said Ch Insp Richard Goodwin.
“We are making significant progress in arresting prostitutes and kerb crawlers.”
Barking MP Margaret Hodge said she was “concerned” that prostitution had returned to Victoria Road and had taken the matter up with the council and police.
She added: “It’s vital that they get to grips with the problem so that local residents can feel safe in their homes.”
• Anyone with concerns about prostitution or related anti-social behaviour should contact their local Safer Neighbourhoods Team or call police on 101.