Police have been targeting prostitutes and kerb crawlers in the Olympic ‘host’ boroughs like Tower Hamlets to clean up the streets in the run-up to the summer Games.
The ‘zero tolerance’ policy has been brought in because of what they say is public demand before London goes under the international spotlight with tens-of-thousands of spectators arriving.Because of ‘what they say’ is public demand? Why wouldn’t that be true?
But a group of women residents were out launching their petition on Saturday asking police to change tactics.
“Woman shouldn’t be put through this harassment in our name as residents when it’s not true that we want to get rid of prostitutes,” said campaign co-ordinator Shannon Harvey.
“We want police instead to go after the kerb-crawlers who are the real danger to residents—not the women.
“Prostitutes don’t harass residents. But kerb-crawlers make many residents feel unsafe.”Strange, isn’t it? Whenever there’s some social panic on – junk food, loans, top-shelf magazines – it’s always the eeeeeeeeevil corporations – the businesses themselves – that are the culprits, with the customers helpless in their clutches.
But on this, it’s the other way round – it’s the ‘business’ that’s helpless, and the customers that are the eeeeeeeeeevil ones. How odd!
Shannon, a 29-year-old domestic violence charity worker, was out in the rain with other volunteers on Saturday collecting signatures from passers-by and passengers coming out of Whitechapel station.
They plan a public meeting at Toynbee Hall on May 9 to press police to switch tactics.Well, you can swat flies all you like, sweetie, but while you leave a bin open full of garbage, you’re just going to get a never-ending supply of flies to replace them, aren’t you?
Solution? Remove the bin!
But maybe she’s right, and this is just old-fashioned prudery? Maybe the residents aren’t concerned about…
The police targeting was sparked by calls at Tower Hamlets council in January to stop street prostitution before the Olympics open.
A delegation of families from Vallance Road, Bethnal Green, told councillors they had had enough of prostitution on their doorstep for the past 20 years.
It has led to a ‘get tough’ policy which has made 47 arrests for loitering and soliciting in the area so far since January.So, for once, the police are doing as the residents wish?
Deputy Mayor Ohid Ahmed said at the time that residents had been telling the council that “street prostitution in Bethnal Green is an issue—that’s why we are working with police to tackle the problem.”So who are these feminists to try to gainsay them?
But the Tower Hamlets Residents Against Persecution of Women in Prostitution campaign says arresting the women won’t get them, off the streets—it alienates them from the authorities and puts them in further danger.How, exactly? And do speeding drivers and shoplifters who get hauled before a judge get to whinge that this 'alienates them from the authorities'?
Probably. But no-one listens to them. So why should we listen to the streetwalkers?