Tower Hamlets Residents' Solidarity Campaign
Since the beginning of 2012, the police in Tower Hamlets have been targeting women involved in street-based prostitution with arrests, displacement and threats of ASBOs in an effort to ‘clean up’ the streets for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Many of the women have had early experiences of abuse and violence; they have been groomed or forced into prostitution. For the vast majority, prostitution is a choice of ‘no choice’. In addition, they experience high levels of sexual and physical violence on the streets and in their intimate relationships. They are faced with homelessness, drug addictions and poverty. We call on the police and the council to stop this victimisation and instead to focus on those who buy sex (kerb-crawlers), those who perpetrate violence against women and those who exploit them (abusive partners and drug dealers).