West Midlands Police is cracking down on the problem with Operation Daytona.
This is why soho road has become birmingham's new red-light district
It is the road which is at the centre of Birmingham's new red-light district. Every night women are selling themselves on Soho Road, Handsworth, in exchange for cash and in many cases hard drugs. Soho Road prostitutes ly revealed they were traumatised by what they do, but must carry on to get that next hit of heroin or crack cocaine.
The women explained that rape, robbery and assaults are commonplace for them. They also admitted that they often cry during sex with clients and rely on drink for courage. It is thought that more than 25 women regularly solicit on the major route - standing on street corners and approaching men in passing cars.
Many of the working girls even travel to the area from across Birmingham just to be in the prostitution hotspot that is Soho Road. But what is attracting them to the one-mile stretch deep in Handsworth?
Sex workers and kerb crawlers caught as police tackle rise in prostitution on stoke-on-trent's streets
We tagged along with West Midlands Police as they set out to tackle the prevalent issue in a bid to find out. Operation Daytona was launched initially to educate kerb crawlers. But the preventative op also sees officers try to deter and protect the sex workers themselves. Prostitutes caught loitering on Soho Road and the ading back streets are given warnings and encouraged to go home.
The grim reality of soho road prostitutes charging as little as £5 for sex
If they persist in soliciting and do not co-operate with officers, this can lead to arrests and prosecution. Voodoo nurse Josephine Iyamu who trafficked vulnerable Nigerian women for sex has sentence increased. Meanwhile, the kerb crawlers are warned too and offered speed-awareness style courses which educate them about the sex workers' vulnerabilities.
The officers say Soho Road has become a magnet for prostitution and kerb crawlers due to the nature of the road. It is an arterial route from Birmingham to the Black Country - one which is brimming with culture and replete with boutiques, jewellers, fast-food ts and grocery stores.
With most shops open 24 hours a day, Soho Road sees a huge footfall commuting through the area day in day out. Women are known to travel from Alum Rock, Smethwick and Erdington to solicit to the thousands of passing drivers Soho Road guarantees every night. And so from around 9pm daily, the vulnerable women venture out in their s, desperate to earn petty cash from kerb-crawling men.
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Some do it to feed a crippling drug habit, while some Eastern European girls do it to send cash back to their families. It is the 'job' where they can make the "most money" the girls often tell police, as officers try to offer support. When out on patrol, we caught one hungry sex worker loitering and approaching passing drivers. She told how she turned to prostitution so she could afford to eat after her benefits were stopped.
Operation Daytona sees the streets of Handsworth - mainly surrounding Soho Road - patrolled in a bid to prevent prostitution and kerb crawling. By Stephanie Balloo Senior Reporter.
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