Prostitutes who had been using an area on Anfield Close over the past few weeks will no longer be able to carry out the illegal activity, after WERA took decisive action to get the secluded area surrounded by bushes chopped down and opened up to end the blight to residents living close by.
Following complaints by residents, of illegal activity of sex trade workers close to their homes, bushes which had hidden them from view and provided privacy have been removed in order to open up the area and prevent prostitutes returning.
The area which is situated on the corner of Anfield Close and Belthorn Crescent, off of Weir Road had been littered with evidence of activity by prostitutes, with used condoms and empty spirit bottles raising concerns of health and safety.
It also followed reports to WERA from residents of disturbances in the early hours of the morning. WERA took action to get the bushes surrounding the area chopped down and hedges lowered in order to make the space more visible from the road. Residents had complained of ‘noises’ in the early hours of the morning and had caused damage to the bushes, following the concerns and disturbance to residents WERA’s chair contacted the local safer neighbourhood team who have been monitoring the area, as well as Lambeth Living who instructed a contractor to open the area up as so that the area would no longer be used by sex trade workers. WERA’s Chair, Dave McEvoy explained “Prostitution brings many other issues with it and causes alarm, harassment and distress to residents living close by as well as the image this portrays of what is a great estate to live on, and therefore we have acted quickly to turf out those using our estate to do such activity. in order to prevent such activity taking place, WERA and residents will not tolerate this and I’m glad that now residents can have peace of mind and we hopefully have seen the last of this sort of illegal activity on our estate.”
Weir Estate which has had previous issues in the past with prostitutes using the estate now has one of the lowest reported crime rates in the borough and WERA continues to keep the estates image safe and free from crime and vow to maintain their image and do all it can to ensure the problem doesn’t return.
The area will now have turf applied after the removal of the bushes, and the bushes along Belthorn Crescent and Weir Road lowered. This will also be maintained to a lower level in future as so the area is visible from the road and the estate at all times. As prostitutes seek to carry out ‘entertaining punters’ in secluded areas the bushes had all the traits that need to be able to remain unseen by the passing public. It is believed they are coming down from the Streatham area where there has been a history of problems with prostitution.
Recently the new borough commander, Nick Ephgrave reinstated the Lambeth Vice unit after it had been axed by his predecessor. The recent activity has now been referred to the Vice unit to monitor in future.
Residents are advised to call the police if they see any further illegal activity and not to approach anyone who may be taking part in illicit sexual activity in the area, however it is hoped that the removal of the hedge will see an end to the sex trade on the estate.
One resident who lives close by to the area which was being used told of her relief at seeing the bushes removed “We as tenants living on Anfield Close have endured the nuisance and eyesore of prostitutes with all that you would associate with that, We asked our WERA Chair, Dave McEvoy to look into this with fantastic results as the bushes have now been removed w, we would like to thank him for this and we now have peace of mind.”
The area is expected to be cleared by the end of the Easter holidays and grassed over in the next week.
WERA will now continue to monitor the situation and work closely with the local police to ensure that such illicit illegal activity does not return to the estate in the future.