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35 suspected kerb crawlers arrested in Middlesbrough and Stockton.

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35 men were arrested during an operation targeting kerb crawlers in Middlesbrough and Stockton.
The operation took part on eleven nights over a four-week period in February and March.

In total, 35 men were arrested on suspicion of kerb crawling. So far, eight of these have been reported for summons, twenty have been cautioned with the condition that they take part in a one-day ‘Ur Choice’ course ran by Barnardo’s and others remain on bail pending further enquiries. Five have since been released without charge.

 Sergeant Paul Higgins, from Cleveland Police Licensing Support Unit, said: “We carried out this operation as a result of concerns raised by local residents in the Parkfield area of Stockton and the Gresham area of Middlesbrough.    

“We work closely with local agencies such as A Way Out and Barnardo’s to support these vulnerable women who feel that they have no other way to turn. There are services that are available to the women and we would encourage them to make contact with those services.

“Some of those who were arrested during the operation had already received convictions for kerb crawling and one man had even been convicted of violence against women. This highlights some of the danger that these women are facing.

“Our operation sends a strong message – do not travel to Cleveland to solicit sex and not expect to be caught.”

Stuart Higgins, from Barnardo’s SECOS, said: “Instead of focussing on the women involved in prostitution, Cleveland Police and Barnardo’s SECOS are addressing the other side of the equation – the men who solicit for sex on the streets. We do this through the ‘UR Choice’ programme which aims to educate men about the reality of sex workers’ lives and the consequences of their actions.

“The programme is offered to first time offenders with no previous serious convictions. It is a full seven-hour day and is delivered on a pass or fail basis with Barnardo’s SECOS project workers. We work by promoting understanding and empathy and showing how the behaviour of these men perpetuates a cycle of abuse.

 “Historically, kerb crawlers within Teesside would have been arrested, prosecuted and ‘named and shamed’. Unfortunately this has a massive effect on the men’s children and families, who have done nothing wrong. 

“So far 90 men have attended the course and to date we have had only one reoffender.” 

Chief Executive Officer, Jane Harmer, from A Way Out, said: “A Way Out engages with and supports highly vulnerable women, young people and families – many ‘trapped’ by substance misuse, sexual exploitation and homelessness – in order to improve health, wellbeing and safety through the provision of early intervention, prevention, recovery and crisis services.”

Further information about the support available can be found at: www.awayout.co.uk and www.barnardos.org.uk

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Update: Hartlepool School Children warned to be vigilant

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A School in Hartlepool has today warned parents and school children to be vigilant following a suspicious incident at the school fence.

Eldon Grove Academy sent a message to parents warning that whilst children were in the playground at lunch time a man approached the fence and spoke to one of the children.

It’s reported that the man approached and offered children ice lollies at Ward Jackson Primary School in Hartlepool.

While someone in a red Volvo was driving suspiciously when a member of staff approached the car drove away erratically.

A spokesman for Ward Jackson Primary School has told Police Hour “Yesterday lunchtime a man tried to engage in conversation with a pupil who was securely inside the school perimeter fence.

“The safety of our pupils and community is paramount and we immediately notified the police and have notified our parents and urged them to be vigilant.”

 

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council told Police Hour: “The safety of children in Hartlepool is our top priority, and as soon as the school made us aware, we notified our other schools as a precaution.”

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Hartlepool School Children warned to be vigilant

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A School in Hartlepool has today warned parents and school children to be vigilant following a suspicious incident at the school fence.

Eldon Grove Academy sent a message to parents warning that whilst children were in the playground at lunch time a man approached the fence and spoke to one of the children.

It’s reported that the man approached and offered children ice lollies at Greatham Church of England School in Hartlepool.

While someone in a red Volvo was driving suspiciously when a member of staff approached the car drove away erratically.

Greatham Church of England School in Hartlepool also warned parents “We have been notified that a man has approached a local school offering children an ice lolly, please stay vigilant.”

Cleveland Police have not commented on the incident.

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Naked runner who terrified over 40 women caught by discarded till receipt

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A NAKED runner who targeted dozens of young women has been caught after determined beat officers used a discarded shopping receipt to track him down.

Over the last few weeks, the serial flasher has been targeting women on the riverbanks in Durham City.

But a discarded till receipt for a packet of Haribo found at the scene eventually helped officers trace an 18-year-old suspect, who was arrested and has now admitted his guilt.

Since April, around a dozen women reported that a man, naked except for his running shoes, had been seen on the riverside footpaths between Durham Rowing Club and the Maiden Castle sports complex.

Police believed that he was waiting for lone women, many of them joggers using the popular riverside routes, before emerging from his hidden vantage point and indecently exposing himself.

Although a dozen women, aged from their late teens to their 40s, reported the flasher, police believe there may have been many more incidents which went unreported.

Durham City Police carried out a series of operations, including plain clothes patrols in which female officers posed as joggers to lure the suspect out.

But the breakthrough came when one of the tenacious officers found a place on the parapet of a disused railway bridge which the culprit used to spot his victims coming.

An empty sweet packet and shop receipt found nearby allowed officers to scour CCTV footage from the store and pinpoint the moment that the sweets were bought, giving them an image of a suspect which matched the description given by the victims.

Officers were then able to trace the suspect to a city centre address, where he was arrested and admitted all the offences.

The man has since been admitted to Checkpoint, a four-month intervention programme to deal with his behaviour.

Sergeant Kay Howarth, of Durham City Police, said: “This was quite an unusual case because the riverside in Durham is usually such a safe place and is visited by families all the time, which made us all the more determined to catch him.

“It must have been very alarming for these women to have a stranger jump out at them while they were simply out enjoying a run.

“We would like to thank all those who rang in to report this man and for all those local runners who helped with our investigation.

“Our officers were determined to find this man and we will continue to work to make sure Durham is a safe place for everyone”.

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