Mums declare war on prostitutes invading their Spitalfields housing estate
Mums are reclaiming the streets to rid their neighbourhood of pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers from their crime-ridden neighbourhood in London’s East End.
They still don’t let their children play outside on their housing estate where a prostitute was murdered three years ago.
Now Tower Hamlets’ neighbourhood police chief has brought in bail restrictions to ban prostitutes invading Spitalfields’ troubled Flower and Dean Estate.
The mums’ campaign, launched with a public meeting, has also been promised more police patrols.
Another eight officers are now stationed at Brick Lane, the packed meeting of 80 residents at the estate’s Attlee centre heard on Saturday.
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The meeting was set up after concerns by parents at the nearby Canon Barnett Primary school who felt intimidated—some teachers had even been threatened by pimps.
“I have to walk my children to school stepping over condoms left on the doorstep,” mother-of-three Lily Islam told the Advertiser. “We can’t let our children play outside.
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“We get woken in the night by the noise. I’ve had enough of it.”
The estate, between Commercial Street and Brick Lane, is plagued by prostitutes and drug-addicts using its nooks and crannies. Nearby, clubs and bars are cheek-by-jowl with hostels and charity projects for the homeless that draw men and women from all over London.
“We’re the middle of it all,” Lily added. “We’re too close to a ‘red light’ district.”
The public meeting she set up with the school and Shoreditch Citizens was told of a woman murdered who had joined Toynbee Hall’s ‘Safe Exit’ programme aimed at getting prostitutes off the streets and back into society.
Chief Insp Nigel Nottage, head Tower Hamlets’ neighbourhood policing, told the mothers he would “make sure any bail conditions would mean prostitutes could not come onto the estate.”
He had increased Brick Lane’s police team to 20 and agreed in principal to more patrols before the summer’s London Olympics.
Mother-of-two Lorraine Wright doesn’t allow her sons to play outdoors because of “the debris of condoms left behind by prostitution on our doorstep.”
She described a daily encounter with kerb-crawling which was “frightening, degrading and unacceptable.”
Hanifa Said, a parent-governor at Canon Barnett School, revealed that pupils attending the Attlee centre for sports had to be guided through the estate “past the mess of human excrement and drugs debris.”
Toynbee Hall’s Marcus Duran described the “hot spots” of alleys that became collection points for prostitutes bringing men onto the estate.
The parents are calling for action similar to ‘Operation Cyclone’ by police and Tower Hamlets council in Bethnal Green a mile away, which has so far made 47 arrests for loitering and soliciting, 11 for public indecency, issued 68 cautions, given 11 cannabis warnings and carried out 30 stop and searches. Those arrested have bail restrictions aimed at driving prostitution out of the East End.