Rise in Walsall prostitution is blamed on police
Prostitution is on the rise in a Black Country community 'blighting' the area according to locals who have blamed a lack of police presence for an increase in problems this year.
Women soliciting for work on the streets 'throughout' the week, discarded sexual protection and associated drug paraphernalia littering the area, have all been reported as being on the up by people living in Caldmore, Walsall.
Wednesbury Road and others leading off it have been identified as hot spots.
It comes after a disturbing video of a man allegedly short-changing a prostitute in the borough went viral on the internet.
Councillor Aftab Nawaz, who represents St Matthews including Caldmore, claimed the area had a historical problem with sex workers but stated problems had intensified in the last six months blaming a lack of police patrols.
He said: "At the bottom of Caldmore we have had an increase in the level of prostitution.
"Residents are getting really upset with it now.
"In my view because of police cut backs we are not getting the service we used to in out area.
"Police used to drive around the area and it was a real deterrent.
"It has always been a problem but in the last six months it has got really bad.
"You drive past and see women standing on the corners throughout the whole week.
"It is blighting our area and bringing the whole area down."
Sergeant Julie Whiting, from St Matthews neighbourhood policing team, defended West Midlands Police' handling of the issues.
She said: "People do not want this type of behaviour on their doorstep and we will always work with the community to tackle the issue.
"Historically we are aware of street workers operating in the area and we continue to work with our partners to tackle this.
"We aim to reduce sex working, reduce vulnerability of sex workers and improve the quality of life for the community and local residents.
"Officers regularly patrol the area at times when we believe sex workers and kerb crawlers are operating. People caught kerb crawling will be prosecuted.
"We have tactics to tackle sex workers which include a criminal behaviour order which bans them from entering a specific area of Walsall."