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An amateur actress received a letter from police warning her against kerb crawling – after she parked outside a rehearsal room in a the Bradford red light district. Anne-Marie Carroll, 45, a company director, was opening the venue at 7.15pm on December 9 and knew nothing about the police watching her company car until she received a letter through the post at her work 10 days later.
It is lazy policing. If they had even bothered to ask me what I was doing they would have realised it made sense. What makes it even more ridiculous is that a year ago another person from the company got a warning for the same thing.
He was stopped and taken into a van to explain what he was doing. He told the police and they said as they had now been made aware of the rehearsal room they wouldn’t stop anyone else for parking in the same area.
The mother-of-two, who lives with husband 42-year-old husband Matthew, an account director, in Bingley, West Yorks., said the matter could have put a huge stain on her character if she was a man.
What if she had been a man, and she had not been a director of the firm she had been working for. There would have been a distinct possibility the man would have lost his job, and even if he had not lost his job, then there would have been the continuous innuendo of why he had been visiting the red light district.
She said: “My concern is with innocent people who, like me, drive company cars, a letter will go to their employers. Being a woman, it removes 90 percent of the doubt that I was actually kerb crawling but if I were a man I could protest my innocence until I was blue in the face and people wouldn’t believe me.
“To send it to someone’s workplace, not knowing who might see it, is irresponsible. It casts aspersions immediately and once that aspersion has been cast there would always be that cast of doubt as to what they were doing.”
Now Anne-Marie Carroll has to go through the process of formally objecting to have this issue removed from the police records. Why should she be put this this bother? The police appear to be totally unapologetic to the damage they are causing both to the sex workers who work in the area, and to innocent bystanders.
Supt Angela Williams, of Bradford South Police, said: “We make no apology for the robust way in that we tackle the issue of kerb crawling in Bradford.
This particular tactic to target the men who solicit women has been used for a number of years in the city and with notable success.
The letters are sent out following detailed observations of a vehicles movements and the registered owner is contacted whether it is an individual or a business.
Supt Angela Williams from South Bradford should be looking more to the good practice taken by Liverpool police and the statements by ACPO’s lead on prostitution and sexual exploitation, Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne.
What good will come from hounding sex workers and clients in the Bradford red light district, will this save more lives. No. Crossbow Cannibal Stephen Griffiths was not a punter, he was mentally sick man and had been known by the police for many years to be a danger to all women. Shutting the red light district will not save lives. The vulnerable street workers will continue to sell sex, and will be at more risk as their trade moves to other areas. As Supt Angela Williams states, this tactic has been used for a number of years in the city and with notable success. Yes notable success at driving street work in to dangerous areas, but not in saving the lives of sex workers. How many did Stephen Griffiths kill, three are know about? Will the police find others, time is running out.