Sex workers in spotlight

This Is Wiltshire: The numbers of sex workers in Swindon is on the rise The numbers of sex workers in Swindon is on the rise

STRIDES are being taken to tackle the problem of prostitution in Broadgreen after it emerged the number of sex workers in Swindon has risen by half in the last year and a half.

The number of women involved in the trade has spiralled from 25 in early 2013 to 38 today, and several agencies are taking a pro-active approach to dealing with the situation.

Dedicated workers including a vice officer with Wiltshire Police and a new sex outreach worker are engaging with the workers on the ground to address their needs and identify the best way to help them get out of the trade.

PC Luke Atkinson, beat manager for Broadgreen, said the problem had increased over recent months but new methods to reach out to sex workers were making a positive impact.

“The problem is one that has always been on our radar and it has got worse more recently than it has been in the past,” he said.

“A number of things have been tried in the past and have had some successes, but we are lucky now to have a dedicated vice officer who works specifically on this issue. She is committed to the work in the area around sex workers, almost all of whom are known to us already.

“It is a great asset to have a vice officer, because that means that the neighbourhood policing team are not spending all our time on this one issue because that would take up a great deal of our time.

“We are also lucky to have the new outreach worker who will work with the vice officer, and there are new measures we can use in our capacity alongside her to help these women get out of these situations.”

Sue Lee is the new sex outreach worker for the area.

“My main focus is on pro-active outreach,” she said. “It is a way to offer intervention to the girls to be able to sit in the back of the van and chat to us.

“A lot of the work is around sexual health and getting them into a drug and alcohol unit.

“They are entrenched in their lifestyles, and there is a certain thinking and behaviour pattern that goes alongside that.

“The key to tackling that is assertive outreach out of hours in the van, building a trusting relationship with these women. If you do not have that it is not going to work. I could probably name most of the sex workers in Swindon.

“I need to get a good snapshot of what is going on, and work out what needs to be done tomorrow.

“The women are often quite suspicious and it can take quite a while to build up a rapport.

“They are vulnerable and at risk of serious harm. Many of these women have endured significant trauma, and their lives are often chaotic.

“People can only make changes from places of safety and that is what we offer them.”

Comments (9)

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8:26am Thu 21 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

It is all about supply and demand so clearly the demand has increased, why not look into why that is and the cause of the problem than just looking at the symptoms all the time. If there was no demand there would be no problem!
It is all about supply and demand so clearly the demand has increased, why not look into why that is and the cause of the problem than just looking at the symptoms all the time. If there was no demand there would be no problem! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

9:13am Thu 21 Aug 14

New Balance says...

house on the hill wrote:
It is all about supply and demand so clearly the demand has increased, why not look into why that is and the cause of the problem than just looking at the symptoms all the time. If there was no demand there would be no problem!
As long as there are both male and female human beings, there will be 'demand' for this industry.

It's the oldest profession in the world, remember. It's also quick and easy money, immediate cash, for those who work in it.

It never has been able to be stopped and never will be, either.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: It is all about supply and demand so clearly the demand has increased, why not look into why that is and the cause of the problem than just looking at the symptoms all the time. If there was no demand there would be no problem![/p][/quote]As long as there are both male and female human beings, there will be 'demand' for this industry. It's the oldest profession in the world, remember. It's also quick and easy money, immediate cash, for those who work in it. It never has been able to be stopped and never will be, either. New Balance
  • Score: 14

12:20pm Thu 21 Aug 14

The Real Librarian says...

New Balance wrote:
house on the hill wrote: It is all about supply and demand so clearly the demand has increased, why not look into why that is and the cause of the problem than just looking at the symptoms all the time. If there was no demand there would be no problem!
As long as there are both male and female human beings, there will be 'demand' for this industry. It's the oldest profession in the world, remember. It's also quick and easy money, immediate cash, for those who work in it. It never has been able to be stopped and never will be, either.
Exactly - If Ancient Babylon (founded 1894 BC) had a Police Chief, one of his agenda items would be vice, probably spurred on by congregation o f the local temple.

All the "problems" of sex work, STD's, corruption, violence, drugs, anti-social behaviour, residential complaints etc, come from its illegality.

We should do what the Dutch do, have specific areas set aside for this stuff, miles from residential areas, where this trade can happen.
With the legal sanction gone, the girls could get health advice, support and the protection of the law.
[quote][p][bold]New Balance[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: It is all about supply and demand so clearly the demand has increased, why not look into why that is and the cause of the problem than just looking at the symptoms all the time. If there was no demand there would be no problem![/p][/quote]As long as there are both male and female human beings, there will be 'demand' for this industry. It's the oldest profession in the world, remember. It's also quick and easy money, immediate cash, for those who work in it. It never has been able to be stopped and never will be, either.[/p][/quote]Exactly - If Ancient Babylon (founded 1894 BC) had a Police Chief, one of his agenda items would be vice, probably spurred on by congregation o f the local temple. All the "problems" of sex work, STD's, corruption, violence, drugs, anti-social behaviour, residential complaints etc, come from its illegality. We should do what the Dutch do, have specific areas set aside for this stuff, miles from residential areas, where this trade can happen. With the legal sanction gone, the girls could get health advice, support and the protection of the law. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 10

12:28pm Thu 21 Aug 14

mrwoo says...

I like prossies!
I like prossies! mrwoo
  • Score: 4

1:12pm Thu 21 Aug 14

trolley dolley says...

Why not call them what they are PROSTITUTES.

If ever there was a job anyone could do laying down, then this is it.

It is easy money and plenty of it. How does any right thinking person expect these prostitutes to give it up and work for a living.

Dream on.
Why not call them what they are PROSTITUTES. If ever there was a job anyone could do laying down, then this is it. It is easy money and plenty of it. How does any right thinking person expect these prostitutes to give it up and work for a living. Dream on. trolley dolley
  • Score: 8

3:40pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Hmmmf says...

Calling them 'sex workers' is really just a PC attempt at normalising and perhaps even legitimising prostitution, but in reality I suspect it only helps a prostitute's customers feel better about what they're doing. 'Workers' is a stretch too, unless they're declaring their income to HMRC and paying the necessary taxes and NI (not to mention declaring the income if they're in receipt of benefits). What next? 'Prohibited Substance Workers' for drug dealers? Once you remove the social stigma, there's no deterrent to dissuade someone entering a squalid trade other than the law, and in this town, the law is no deterrent at all.
Calling them 'sex workers' is really just a PC attempt at normalising and perhaps even legitimising prostitution, but in reality I suspect it only helps a prostitute's customers feel better about what they're doing. 'Workers' is a stretch too, unless they're declaring their income to HMRC and paying the necessary taxes and NI (not to mention declaring the income if they're in receipt of benefits). What next? 'Prohibited Substance Workers' for drug dealers? Once you remove the social stigma, there's no deterrent to dissuade someone entering a squalid trade other than the law, and in this town, the law is no deterrent at all. Hmmmf
  • Score: 2

6:14pm Thu 21 Aug 14

bellyup says...

38 doesn't sound like a lot to me so I'm pleased Swindon has a low number of (known) so-called sex workers
38 doesn't sound like a lot to me so I'm pleased Swindon has a low number of (known) so-called sex workers bellyup
  • Score: 6

9:03pm Thu 21 Aug 14

MrAngry says...

bellyup wrote:
38 doesn't sound like a lot to me so I'm pleased Swindon has a low number of (known) so-called sex workers
This isn't really about sex. It is about drugs. Selling sex is a means of paying for the drugs.
[quote][p][bold]bellyup[/bold] wrote: 38 doesn't sound like a lot to me so I'm pleased Swindon has a low number of (known) so-called sex workers[/p][/quote]This isn't really about sex. It is about drugs. Selling sex is a means of paying for the drugs. MrAngry
  • Score: 4

11:14am Fri 22 Aug 14

Melgee says...

You have to be pretty desparate to go with a druggy prostitute on the streets of Swindon. Better to be a Barclays Banker then spend the next 2 weeks worrying whether you have caught some STD.
You have to be pretty desparate to go with a druggy prostitute on the streets of Swindon. Better to be a Barclays Banker then spend the next 2 weeks worrying whether you have caught some STD. Melgee
  • Score: 0

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