Working Girls and City Gents?

News of money from the Home Office to provide outreach support for prostitutes in Hackney was welcomed by some community groups in the north of the borough (as reported in the Hackney Gazette 21st December) but little seems to have been done about the growing problems in areas bordering the city in south Hackney and Shoreditch.

As the City spreads outwards and gentrification gathers pace, prostitution grows accordingly. As pissed up suits roll out of pubs after a hard days trading, you can see why. On estates that border the main streets such as the Geffrye and Pitfield, tenants have told the IWCA about incidents where local women and young girls have been harassed by kerb crawlers, and well dressed men staggering out of the bars that stretch out from the centre of the City.

Many people point to the rise in the “night-time economy” as an economic bonus for the area saying that the bars and clubs provide jobs, but how many young people who live on the estates nearby get jobs in these places ? Very few, and the most obvious downside is the rise in related anti-social behaviour: noise and disruption late at night as the pubs clear out and an increase in muggings and prostitution. Time to show a red light to the spread of the night-time economy in the area ?