Organised prostitution in Wapping – response from MPS Tower Hamlets

Below is the full text of an email from Chief Inspector Martin Kirby of Limehouse Police Station in response to a formal enquiry by Cllr. Denise Jones about the current situation with organised prostitution in Green Bank, Wapping, and other locations. SNT stands for Safer Neighbourhood Team aka our local police. 

Hello Denise,
I have discussed this with the SNT Sgt and Sgt Deal who has our lead on prostitution. The females in the vehicles referred to by the informant are likely to be Escorts waiting for calls from customers nearby. Sgt Deal regularly encounters them on his vice patrols.

In the absence of any offences (and as they are not soliciting in the street they are unlikely to be committing any based on our encounters with them and what has been described by the informant) our options are limited.

Indeed there does not appear to be any anti social behaviour associated with this issue and I’m given to understand that these people often make efforts not to draw attention to themselves for this reason. When they get called they are taken to callers addresses likely to be in and around Wapping, Canary Wharf and some of the other more affluent areas in the Borough and the City.

Sgt Deal often moves them on (a request they don’t necessarily have to comply with if they are not breaking the law – but nonetheless they do always comply when asked) when he encounters them (again because we are aware that their presence may be concerning rather than because they are necessarily doing anything antisocial or illegal at that point) and he and his team always check on the welfare of the females and makes sure they are not being coerced into this activity.

If there is evidence that the persons begin to engage in ASB we may have options around a Community Protection Warning or similar.



LW Comment

Many thanks to Chief Inspector Kirby for the above information and Cllr. Denise Jones for raising the issue so quickly.

LW has met with both Cllr. Jones and Cllr. Julia Dockerill to keep them up to date with events.

We have also had many conversations with many residents about the problem and received numerous emails.

From what we know it would seem that the cars, in varying numbers, have been present every night since we initially reported on this story.

We also have others avenues of inquiry that we are currently pursuing. More information as and when we get it.




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