PROSTITUTES are being picked up by men in Barton Street and taken for sex on a nearby school playing field and in a back alley.
Prostitution has long been a bugbear for Barton residents but it was thought that the problem had cleared up last year.
But recently up to four women – some described as being ‘very young’ – have been spotted plying their trade in Barton Street.
Councillor Usman Bhaimia (L, Barton and Tredworth) said: “Two girls were seen with one man down the Blenheim Road alley by the rubbish bins. Others are taking men to the playing fields at Widden Primary School for sex.
“We have seen four women and some look just 15 or 16 years old.
“This sort of activity does not help the area. It does not surprise me that it is happening but we have got to do something about it.”
Sgt Tim Wood, from the Barton policing team, said: “Prostitution in this area has been made a priority by the community and we know many people feel strongly about it.
“We have a plan in place which includes overt and plain clothed patrols, patrols with outreach workers to try and offer the vulnerable women involved a way out and warning letters and cautions to the men who look for prostitutes.
“We are aware that the area may acquire an unfair stigma until the issue is resolved but it is something that requires a balanced approach because those involved are often victims turning to prostitution out of desperation and needing support to find long term help and protection from those who are exploiting them.
“Of course where tough action is required we will take it.”
It comes as two city women have denied soliciting for prostitution in Gloucester.
Kerry Ella Dalby, 33, of Fountain Square, and Nicola Dee Jenkins, 35, of Clement Street, Tredworth, pleaded not guilty to a charge each of persistently soliciting for the purposes of prostitution when they appeared before Stroud Magistrates’ Court on Monday, April 14.
The offences are alleged to have been committed between February and March this year in Barton Street, Sinope Street and Charles Street.
They are separately charged and will stand trial at 2pm on October 3, at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.