POLICE today said high profile anti-prostitution operations stop people coming to Blackpool to trawl the streets looking for sex.
Officers launched Operation Azure after concerns were raised about the issue of street walkers during a Police and Community Together (PACT) meeting.
And while chiefs say prostitution is well monitored throughout the year in Blackpool, they stressed the importance of being seen on the streets to deter the prostitutes themselves as well as their customers.
PC Jamie Robinson, community beat manager for Talbot ward, told The Gazette: “We have had some issues with street workers. Since January around five women have come to our attention.
“This operation deters people coming to the area looking for street workers.
“Equally we can talk to the girls and try to help them.”
Street workers can be given two warnings from police, offered help and have their behaviour monitored.
The third time they are caught loitering in a street or public place for the purpose of prostitution they will be arrested.
Det Insp Sue Cawley, leading the operation for Blackpool Police, said: “In Blackpool, we don’t have a vast problem – although I’m not minimising it for the people who live where it is an issue. We are fortunate the community speak to us and if there is a problem we will sort it.”
The issue of prostitution was brought up during last month’s area PACT meeting.
David Slattery-Christie, vice-chairman of the Talbot PACT, said: “Concerns were raised the activity had wandered up onto the Coronation Street and Charnley Road area.
“People who are from hotels were concerned.
“People don’t want this activity in their area as it’s going to impact on the profitability of their business.
“At the end of the day, these girls need to be given support.”
Last year, The Gazette ran a series of features on Blackpool’s sex trade.
We found a number of women who said they had taken up street prostitution in a bid to make ends meet and support their children because they could not find regular employment.
Others said they had been “on the game” for many years to get cash to feed drink and drug habits.