Filthy phone boxes disfigured by prostitutes' cards continue to spoil parts of the ward towards Paddington. Cllrs Heather Acton and Antonia Cox have worked with the HPEA and others and now have a commitment from BT to remove ten phone kiosks from the ward. "The BT man in charge of 51,000 BT payphones came to see for himself the disgusting state of some of them. He found boxes with holes drilled so that coins could be stolen and explicitly pornographic cards which children should not have to see on our streets. BT are facing up to their responsibilities and it is time other phone companies followed," says Antonia.
The Council’s analysis of the problem has shown that the cards are linked to wider issues involving the trafficking of girls, drug abuse and organised crime. Ward budget money has already been committed to night time patrols and some took place in September and October. WCC studies show that previous measures such as letters to owners of cars stopped for kerb crawling, arrests and anti-social behaviour orders proved effective in the past. Heather and Antonia are working with representatives of health agencies and the police on a wider strategy to tackle street prostitution.