If you live or work in Tower Hamlets, use this template letter to ask the council to ensure that the commitments they’ve made in the new Violence Against Women & Girls Plan are effective in supporting women involved in prostitution and holding perpetrators accountable. You might like to consider adding something about your own experience – a personal letter is always more effective – and make sure you include your Tower Hamlets home or work address.
Service Head Safer Communities
Crime Reduction Services, Communities, Localities and Culture
Tower Hamlets Council
5 Clove Crescent
Dear Andy Bamber
I live in Tower Hamlets and I would like to congratulate the council on its new Violence Against Women and Girls Plan and welcome the inclusion of prostitution in this plan. The recognition of prostitution as a form of violence against women is an important step towards ending this abuse in our borough.
I am pleased to note the commitment to ensure that women involved in prostitution are able to access appropriate services through increased support and protection for victims (p. 45). However, with the recent loss of the specialist Safe Exit service in the borough, I would like to know how you will ensure that the following components of evidence-based effective service provision will be provided, including for those women involved who do not have alcohol or other drug problems:
1. Outreach services
2. Drop-in services, including evening opening hours
3. Women-only service provision
I would also like to know how the council will promote access to services other than through the criminal justice system.
The council’s current approach to prostitution appears to be focused primarily on street-based prostitution. I would like to know:
1. What plans the council has to establish the extent of indoor prostitution in Tower Hamlets?
2. What provisions the council has made to address exploitation and abuse of women in indoor premises?
Holding perpetrators accountable
The council’s Violence Against Women & Girls Plan commits to holding perpetrators accountable, yet the actions in the plan primarily focus on domestic violence perpetration. I would like to know:
1. What plans the council has in place to hold perpetrators accountable in relation to prostitution, including those who force or coerce women to be involved and those who purchase sex?
2. How the council will work with Tower Hamlets police and the Crown Prosecution Service to increase arrests and prosecution of those who force or coerce women into prostitution, those who purchase sex from women who have been coerced or forced, and kerb-crawlers?
[Your Tower Hamlets address]