Further work to combat city kerb-crawling
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Following on from last month’s successful operation, officers in Leicester have carried out further proactive work to tackle kerb-crawling in the city.
Known as Operation Flatten, the proactive patrols are aimed at tackling the issue of kerb-crawling while also gathering information about people frequenting the area.
Over the weekend, 10 people were dealt with for soliciting offences. The process involves those caught being interviewed and then processed in a way designed to prevent future offending.
Operation Flatten also involves officers from the NPA carrying out work to protect and safeguard those involved in street prostitution – which is just one visible representation of sexual exploitation and can be linked to other offences.
Soliciting another person for the purpose of obtaining a sexual service in a street or public place is a criminal offence.
Sergeant Amanda Boswell, who leads the city sex worker team, says officers are aware of the impact kerb-crawling and associated crimes has on the local community – and that operations like Op Flatten have a positive impact on such issues.
She said: “Operations like this allow us to significantly build our intelligence picture around those people who frequent areas such as De Montfort Street. These people can pose a continued risk to the women – people who my team work hard to protect.
“We continue to work closely with partner agencies to protect these women from harm and liaise with sex workers on a regular basis. We engage with them to build up our relationships and earn their trust so they feel safe and comfortable in reporting crimes to us.”
While also carrying out patrols, officers dealt with a number of other people for other offences. This included a 42-year-old man from Leicester, who was arrested and subsequently charged with indecent exposure and breach of court bail conditions.
A 32-year-old man from Leicester was arrested on suspicion of kerb-crawling and drink driving– and later charged with – drink-driving.
A 36-year-old man was arrested as he was wanted on recall to prison, while a 41-year-old man was arrested after being found in possession of a knife. He has since been released and enquiries are ongoing.
Officers also seized a car after the driver was found to have no insurance.
Further information regarding rape and sexual offences – including how to report such matters and what support is available – can be found by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/