David Cameron has expressed his shock and sympathy regarding the murders in Bradford, and said that he’s going to take measures to crack down on kerb-crawling. So what measures will they be?

In part of my constituency there is a serious on-street prostitution problem. We’ve had women soliciting outside primary schools, local men being accosted by women as they try to park in their drives, and local women being harrassed by kerb-crawlers. (One of my activists innocently asked for directions when he was meeting us for canvassing there during the election, and was rather shocked by what else was on offer!)

We have, however, been fairly successful in cracking down on kerb-crawlers. And we’ve done that by using anti-social behaviour legislation and CCTV cameras, which local residents asked for, and I campaigned for. I brought the Police Minister down to meet them to hear just how desperate they were for something to be done. And yet the Lib Dems opposed the anti-social behaviour laws, and both the Tories and Lib Dems have expressed their opposition to CCTV cameras in communities.

Whenever people argue against CCTV on civil liberties grounds I point to the example of Fishponds Road and ask them – if the local people want them, and don’t regard it as a breach of their civil liberties to have them, but rather something that gives them the freedom to go about their daily business without being harrassed, then in a democratic society shouldn’t we do what local people want?

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  • Genji Monogatari  On May 29, 2010 at 1:07 am

    “in a democratic society shouldn’t we do what local people want?”

    Depends how much it costs.

  • DaveA  On May 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

    My way of solving the problem, legalised brothels. Gets people off the streets and into houses where it is safer for everyone. I have no objections about rules as to where they are precisely placed, i.e. away from schools, residential areas and medical checks for people concerned.

    I think about a year a go Kerry you posed the question if the Labout government introduced “shooting up” rooms for heroin addicts, would the “Daily Mail” reader object. In a word no. On heroin and crack cocaine: “Drug use is responsible for the great majority of some types of crime, such as shoplifting and burglary ” (inc 85% of shoplifting, 70-80% of burglaries, 54% of robberies.)”

    A bit of libertarianism could improve the quality of life for everyone.


  • BristleKRS  On May 29, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Not when it’s a loaded deal, like, for example, no drinking zones in St. Paul’s, involving a consultation that, erm, didn’t actually consult all local residents, only local businesses (the police volunteered to deliver the proposal leaflet and ‘somehow’ managed not to get them delivered to residential addresses).

    And my housing association regularly does half-hearted ‘consultation’ on how to improve our area, in which CCTV is generally one of their suggestions; and yet I don’t want CCTV, none of the neighbours I’ve ever spoken to have ever mentioned CCTV as something they want, CCTV has never prevented any crime around this area – but somehow by loading the survey in the first place with “eg CCTV”, it primes one or two people enough that statistically, given the wide range of actual suggestions made by residents, CCTV ends up in the final “this is want our residents say they wanted” survey. Ridiculous and insulting. And expensive, and with a poor return, and involving large amounts of resources to maintain it to any practicable level of use, and lazy.

  • Gert  On May 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’d quite forgotten how the use of CCTV – amongst other things – had moved the kerb crawlers away from my road (in Inner London).

    But the kerb-crawlers are there for a purpose, which is provided by the women who are desperate to fund their habits. I don’t really think that CCTV is the solution, but nor do I think that there are any easy solutions to – or causes of – the whole drugs mess.

  • Peter Reynolds  On May 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm


    The first knee jerk reaction from the coalition. The last one from your lot was over mephedrone. I thought we were putting this sort of politicking behind us?

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