Police raid on Finsbury Park kerb crawlers leads to 11 arrests
PUBLISHED: 15:54 12 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:40 12 March 2014
Kerb-crawlers who take advantage of drug-addicted prostitutes to feed their sexual appetites were targeted in a joint Hackney and Islington operation.
A team of 20 officers hit the streets across Finsbury Park on Friday to combat the vice problem that has plagued the area for many years.
As well as six arrests for kerb-crawling, police found three illegal immigrants, a man with a knife and one bungling drug dealer – arrested after he offered cocaine and heroin to an undercover officer.
The operation – nicknamed Cruiser – was spearheaded by Sgt Richard Berns, head of the area’s vice squad whose bold tactic of targeting pimps and those who pay for sex rather than the girls themselves has been achieving good results.
During the operation, he Tweeted: “Not content with being drunk at the wheel, one guy felt like doing a bit of kerb-crawling too. His mother would be proud.
“Another guy walked right up to a plain clothes officer and kindly made this offer: ‘want some white or brown?’ He’s still in the cells.”
One technique is to send warning letters to those suspected of being kerb crawlers – 40 of whom were identified last night.
Sgt Berns said: “This operation is part of a wider strategy to reduce street vice by pro-actively targeting those who seek to pay for sex.
“Those who solicit others for sex on the street are more likely to commit other, more serious sexual crimes. During the operation we also arrested a number of people for immigration offences and one for offering to supply class A.
“As well as arresting offenders, approximately 40 letters will be sent out to the registered keepers of vehicles seen acting suspiciously but where a prosecution is not possible. These letters are designed to warn and educate.”
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