Suffolk strategy cuts prostitution

More than 200 people have been helped out of prostitution since five women were killed in Ipswich, a report has found.

The Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation Strategy was introduced in Suffolk after Steve Wright killed Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell between October and December 2006. All five were sex workers.

The strategy has been credited with effectively ending street prostitution in the town and has since expanded into tackling sexual exploitation, off-street prostitution and other related problems.

In the latest report to Suffolk County Council, organisers say that more than 200 adults and young people have escaped drug addiction, exploitation and sex work since the strategy began.

Police in the town have arrested 140 kerb crawlers since 2007 and 55 have been arrested for trafficking and other forms of sexual coercion.

Councillor Colin Spence hailed the success but said it was possible to do even more to protect vulnerable people.

He added: "We can and will be doing more to prevent the root causes of this very serious problem."

Helen Hepburn, who manages the Make a Change team, said: "Many of the people we help are victims of domestic violence or abuse, and some need to deal with problems with alcohol."

Wright is currently serving a whole life sentence for the murders.