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Woman charged with loitering as a prostitute

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 09, 2012

A WOMAN has been charged with a prostitution offence in Barton.

Police arrested 25-year-old Emma O'Loughlin, from Cherry Close in Hardwicke, while on patrol in Sinope Street on Tuesday.

She has been charged with loitering for the purposes of prostitution and bailed to appear before magistrates in Gloucester on March 6.

Police said tackling prostitution has been a force priority for officers in Barton because of community concern over the issue.

Concerned

Inspector Neil Smith said: "The prostitution issue in Barton only involves a small number of people but we understand why residents have been very concerned.

"A range of measures including final warning letters, referrals to agencies that can help people turn their lives around and prosecution, where appropriate, are open to us.

"We are aware the issues are complex and many of the women involved are victims themselves, but we also have a responsibility to the community whose reputation is tarnished to take action where warnings are not being heeded.

"We continue to tackle concerns around prostitution in a sensitive and sensible way with our partner organisations."

Officers have previously held operations in the area and issued several final warnings to those soliciting and those approaching women in a bid to tackle it.

The problem of prostitution in Barton has been raised several times recently by community figureheads.

City councillor Usman Bhaimia (Lab, Barton) said: "It's a very complicated issue and we've raised our concerns a few times.

"You still see young girls on the streets, sometimes as young as 16 or 18, and it's worrying.

"People stop going out because of it and it gives the area a bad name."

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