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Red light area CCTV to catch kerb crawlers.

Byline: Sam Dimmer Crime reporter sam.dimmer@coventrytelegraph.net

STATE of the art new CCTV cameras are being used in Hillelds to try and catch out kerb crawlers.

e devices are tted with 4G cards meaning ocers can watch live footage of key areas in the city's red light district and download high quality footage if residents report a nuisance.

ey can be pointed wherever police want and if necessary they can be moved wholesale - meaning if sex workers and kerb crawlers start frequenting a dierent street the cameras can eectively follow them.

e devices are the latest tool being used by police in the long-running crackdown on sex workers using the streets of Hill-elds.

ey also mark an improvement from previous cameras that could only be accessed by connecting wirelessly from a laptop, usually from directly underneath the camera.

Insp Gareth Mason said: "Hopefully these cameras will act as a deterrent for kerb crawlers.

"If you get a report of a car driving around the area and there's a camera there you can look at the vehicle and either go and have a word or send a warning letter out.

"ese cameras are overt. ey are obvious.

"ey are another tool we have got to support all the other things we are doing in Hillelds, like high visibility patrols.

"If a kerb crawler sees one of these cameras then the residents plagued by these people day in day out might get a bit of relief.

"e kerb crawler may go elsewhere or hopefully they won't bother at all."

Police eorts to tackle prostitution in Hillelds - known Operation Scarlet - started in June 2012 and has led to numerous arrests of sex workers and kerb crawlers. e number of people being charged in recent months has dropped o, with sex workers either quitting, leaving the area or work-work ing in a dierent way.

Police continue to work with a variety of partner agencies in the area, with prostitutes oered a structured exit from the sex trade before enforcement action is considered.

Insp Mason added: "ere's denitely been a reduction in sex workers using the area. e number of kerb crawlers is decreasing too. Whether that means sex workers are going to a house or using the internet that's another matter."

As well as installing the cameras the telephone kiosk in Paynes Lane has recently been removed with police saying it was being used as a cover for prostitution and drug tak-tak ing. Anyone with information about prostitution in Hillelds should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 6, 2015
Words:428
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