Bournemouth's street sex workers need help to steer them away from drug abuse and prostitution, a report has found. The city's Local Involvement Network LINk assessed the health needs of workers and found many sold their bodies to fund addictions to heroin.
It found there was a lack of emergency accommodation for homeless prostitutes and more outreach work was needed. Bournemouth council said it would work with Dorset Police and the NHS to heed the recommendations in the report.
Postitutes the 17 sex workers interviewed in the LINk report, 14 admitted injecting drugs, predominantly heroin. Three said they were sleeping rough and the majority said they would opt for rehabilitation if it was available. The report follows a drive by Dorset Police to help Boscombe street sex workers change their lives and target kerb crawlers through re-education and conviction.
Police estimate there are 30 sex workers in the town, with many face problems including mental health issues and being exposed to violence, while some have children who are no longer in their care. Chris Wakefield of Bournemouth LINk said: "At the launch of the police jax springfield escorts last year, it was highlighted that there weren't enough funds if all of these vulnerable ladies said, actually, I need to break postitutes addiction habit now.
Sue Meakin, health improvement manager at Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, said: "These women are in a cycle of addiction and it's really important that we support them through that to get the help they need.
He said: "Whilst the s are low, we know that these women are amongst the most vulnerable in our community, and working in partnership with Pristitutes Police and NHS we are already engaged in activities to reduce the s of women working in the street sex trade. Kerb-crawling campaign criticised.
Twelve women said they had taken cocaine. More on this story. Published 26 January