Police are urging residents to help a crackdown on prostitution in Sheffield by reporting sex workers and kerbcrawlers.
Operation Kerb Safe, which involves officers patrolling known hotspots and referring sex workers to a charity which helps women escape the industry, was launched to tackle the issue – but residents claim not enough is being done.
One woman, whose son lives in the Opal 3 student complex on Hoyle Street, Shalesmoor, is so disgusted at the scale of the problem she has written to both universities in Sheffield, asking for the students’ unions to contact police about the issue.
She claims her son and his friends are ‘repeatedly accosted by women of the night plying their trade’.
Keith Eyre, who has worked in the area for 50 years, said, “It’s a very bad area for prostitution and it always has been, although it’s got a lot better than it used to be”
His granddaughter Megan Eyre, who lived in student accommodation near Meadow Street for some time, said: “It was really, really bad when I lived here. There were lots of prostitutes about and they’d come and ask us for fags on a morning.”
Daniel Critchley, who lives in Opal 3, said: “I haven’t seen a prostitute, but my girlfriend was warned not to walk around at night by herself near here.
“It’s not the nicest area and there are sometimes druggies knocking about. Plus, there’s an area around Netherthorpe tram stop where people are often mugged.”
Inspector Darren Starkey, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Operation Kerb Safe has been operating in the area and aims to tackle issues such as kerbcrawling and to offer assistance and support to women who are involved in prostitution.
“Dedicated patrols in the area have been conducted and we encourage anyone who witnesses any suspicious behaviour they believe may be related to prostitution to report it to the police immediately.”
Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, said he would disucss the issue with the police.