The Luton Against Sexual Exploitation (LASE) initiative brings together a number of partner agencies to address the demand that drives the sex trade and sex trafficking in the town.
On Monday, (15 October), LASE held a conference in Luton to discuss solutions to put an end to commercial sexual exploitation.
We attended the conference as part of our commitment to tackling the ‘on-street’ sex trade; a key community priority for the force.
Additionally, we run dedicated deployments to tackle just this issue, under the name Operation Code. This takes place several times a month, when our officers are deployed to patrol the town in order to identify and speak to people, believed to be sex workers, about any criminal offences they may have been a victim of, and offer them the support of partner agencies.
We treat this complex issue extremely seriously, and work tirelessly to address this problem with our partners in Luton, so that we may better protect our communities and reduce associated criminality.
Our priority is to identify sex buyers and traffickers, and keep the victims of the sex trade safe. Those involved are often victims of sexual exploitation due to a range of vulnerabilities, or are victims of exploitation and modern day slavery.
Therefore, we would encourage people to come forward with reportsof prostitution and any anti-social behaviour connected to it, as each report allows us to build a better picture of this issue across our town.
We are continuing to identify and close properties used for prostitution, and prosecute those involved in the sex trade. We will also continue to crack down on those who exploit vulnerable people for personal gain. We are working with those who are vulnerable to offer them a way out, and give them a chance of a better life.
Sergeant John Killick
On Street Sex Trade Lead