'Gigantic' rise in migrant sex workers in Nottingham

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A Nottingham charity says that there has been a "gigantic" surge in the amount of migrant sex workers in the city – rising from five to 95 in the space of a year.

POW Nottingham, a charity which supports sex workers, based in Independent Street, is currently looking at the increase in migrant sex workers in Nottingham as part of a five-year funded project in the city.

Danielle Scotece, 42, chief executive of the charity, told the Post: "There has been an increase in migrant sex workers.

"In POW’s experience the main contact we have had is with Romanians. We have worked with 95 migrant sex workers over the last year, which is a gigantic growth.

"We hear so many different stories – some that have been sex workers in Italy and Germany and come to England because they believe it is lucrative. Some that have been in Nottingham working on the streets, some who have come over for the purpose of sex work or who have come over and got into sex work and never been in it before. There are some people that I suspect are being controlled."

Forest Road West in Nottingham, a known spot for sex workers.

Forest Road West in Nottingham, a known spot for sex workers.

The five-year research project, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the Lloyds Foundation, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Crime and Drugs Partnership aims to provide help and advice to sex workers about sexual health and drugs, as well as legal and employment advice.

As part of the project, POW is also investigating the rise in migrant sex workers in the city, and the people who might be controlling them.

The organisation wants sex working to be decriminalised but is opposed to "people who are trafficked or exploited."

"My concerns are modern slavery," Ms Scotece said.

"There is an indication that some of these 95 are modern slaves."

The team says that between April to September 2016, they were supporting five migrant sex workers but from September 2016 to September 2017 the figure jumped to 95.

The women the organisation works with mainly operates around the Radford Road area, and are aged between 25 and 50-years-old.

Overall, the charity supports 392 sex workers.

Inspector Paul Gummer, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Nottingham’s Prostitution Taskforce, which is a joint enterprise between Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council, continues to address the community impact of prostitution and is committed to helping people engaged in prostitution to escape the difficult circumstances that have led them to this.

"We have worked very closely with the POW charity for a number of years and they attend various multi-agency meetings that we have around the issue.

"We’re aware of the dramatic increase in migrant sex workers in Nottinghamshire in recent years and therefore we welcome the charity’s work in highlighting the causes and effects and helping to build a bigger picture of the issue."

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