This week 30 years ago: ‘Prostitute plague’ grips Stamford Hill

The Gazette 30 years ago

The Gazette 30 years ago - Credit: Archant

A “prostitute plague” was gripping Stamford Hill, reported the Gazette with something less than sensitivity.

MP Diane Abbott had vowed to raise the problem with home secretary Douglas Hurd after road closure tactics failed to deter kerb crawlers. Apparently the problem was just pushed from one quiet side street to the next, leading Ms Abbott to call police chief Peter Twist for a “swamp” operation to clear the area.

She said: “It’s an intolerable problem for what is quite a residential area. I am told there are sometimes up to six girls on a street corner.”

Ch Supt Twist said he didn’t have the manpower to launch a “swamp” op, similar to a 30-officer strong operation that had cleared King’s Cross.

He called for changes in the law, outlawing kerb crawlers on foot, and disqualifying drivers found kerb crawling. The Gazette reported: “Quiet residential side streets off Amhurst Road have been turned into streets of shame as the prostitutes ply their sex-for-sale trade.”