Six 'brothels' raided in Wolverhampton as police target illegal sex trade
Six suspected brothels have been raided by police investigating prostitution in Wolverhampton.
West Midlands Police has carried out a series of operations since the summer in response to concerns from the community about the city's illegal sex trade.
As part of this, three suspected brothels were raided within half a mile of each other in Pennfields and three were swooped on in the Whitmore Reans area of the city.
The raids have not led to any arrests, but 16 women believed to have been used as sex workers have been safeguarded.
They were found during the raids in Bruford Road, Owen Road and at two addresses in Jeffcock Road - all in Pennfields - and in Prosser Street, Park Village and Leicester Street in Whitmore Reans.
Meanwhile the force said officers have also been on regular patrols to combat kerb crawling and prostitution across Whitmore Reans and All Saints.
Fourteen women found loitering were referred to the Changing Lives project, while three men were referred to an education course and another was 'dealt with' for outraging public decency.
The Changing Lives Project aims to support those who are caught loitering by diverting them away from the trade - but anyone who ignores the help and repeatedly works the streets faces being taken to court.
It provides sexual health checks and education, as well as offering assistance with accommodation, substance abuse, clean clothes and toiletries.
Meanwhile the education course costs £300 and sees some of the cash invested into improving neighbourhoods affected by prostitution
Inspector Tracey Packham, from Wolverhampton Police, said: "We know the impact that prostitution, both overtly on the streets and within brothels, has on our communities.
"We have listened to these concerns and taken action through a series of operations to tackle the illegal sex trade.
"Brothels can be linked to other wider organised crime and investigations and these form part of wider investigations.
"Sex workers are risking their own health and welfare; we work with our partners to steer them away from such behaviour but we won’t hesitate to pursue further action if they ignore the support.
"Similarly with kerb crawlers we can pursue court action or refer them to an education course which has seen 98 per cent success rate - with only a small minority re-offending - and generates funding for improving neighbourhoods."
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