In a bid to make a home for vulnerable people safer, authorities in Northampton have led a three-month clean-up effort to tidy a nearby alleyway filled with drug needles left behind by sex workers.
The Central Policing Team of Northamptonshire Police alongside Northampton Borough Council neighbourhood wardens have spent three months cleaning up an alleyway off Scarletwell Street in Spring Boroughs.
The alleyway is located behind a property - used by charity, NAASH who house Northampton's homeless and most vulnerable in society - and is often littered with drug paraphernalia and condoms.
PC Lee Stevens said: "We have known sex workers come round the back of the alley, they view it as a place where they are not seen. It's not lit and they won't be challenged."
Service director at NAASH, Theresa Kelly sought help from PC Lee Stevens and PCSO James Wetherall after sex workers began disturbing people living in the property.
Now lights have been fitted to illuminate the area and make NAASH clients feel safer
NAASH, located at Oasis House, also aims to help anyone in Northampton who struggle with mental health problems and addictions to get on the housing ladder.
Although some prostitutes are causing problems for NAASH in Scarletwell Street, the charity actually has a good record of helping sex workers.
Back in March a service called Cygnet was set up to offer support and advice to prostitutes working the red light circuit. It is made up of Oasis House, S2S (Substance to Solution) and the Bridge Project (an anti-substance misuse programme) and aims to encourage the six known sex workers in Northampton away from prostitution.
Theresa said: "It’s about keeping people here safe but also now saying to the sex workers, ‘we are happy to offer you accommodation and support, if you want to access it’. We have been doing the Cygnet programme for a few months now and we have housed three sex workers through that service.
"It will be short term housing to begin with but then it’s about finding them longer term housing. They will stay with us until we find them something forever."
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