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Police officer is honoured by Force for his work in helping people affected by prostitution

November 6, 2017
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A retired Nottinghamshire Police sergeant credited with helping hundreds of vulnerable people whose lives have been affected by prostitution over the last 22 years has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sergeant Neil Radford, who served with the Force for 29 years, was among the many officers recognised at Thursday night’s (2 November 2017) Nottinghamshire Police Awards, sponsored by Nottingham Trent University, the Nottinghamshire Police Federation and Mazars.

Sgt Radford led Nottingham’s Prostitution Taskforce (PTF) which, for the last 13 years, has addressed the community impact of on-street and off-street prostitution.

Established to address community concerns, the taskforce has made a considerable and measurable impact on the quality of life for those living in areas affected by on-street prostitution.

However, the service is not a punitive intervention. The core role of the taskforce is to help those people engaged in prostitution to escape the difficult circumstances that have led them to this.

Sgt Radford’s experience, leadership, dedication and knowledge had enabled him to support hundreds of vulnerable people in assisting them in exiting prostitution.

He also supervised numerous investigations into all aspects of prostitution from soliciting and kerb-crawling, through to keeping a brothel and controlling prostitution.

His experience in this field influenced local, national and international policing, policy and law.

This included leading on the ‘Change Course’ project since 2004. This scheme has provided a one-day rehabilitation course to men caught kerb-crawling. This is offered as an alternative to going to court but it still includes a caution at the course’s conclusion.

Nearly 1,000 men have been through this course to date, with only 35 people know n to have re-offended.

Sgt Radford also worked with a large number of other police forces nationally and internationally to assist them in developing the same course.

Other work he was involved with over the years included, in 2005, being involved in the production of a Central TV documentary around the issues of prostitution and an award-nominated series of episodes on the subject.

He also gave his expert advice and guidance about tackling issues around prostitution at numerous conferences, events and talks.

Chief Inspector Mark Stanley, who nominated Sgt Radford for his award, said: "Neil’s legacy is that he has intervened and supported hundreds of vulnerable people and survivors of prostitution and exploitation, having a significantly positive impact on those whose lives are affected.

"His knowledge and expertise, which he has shared with police officers, criminology students and academics, will continue to ensure that his work will continue long after his retirement. Neil truly has been a role model to the community and an attribute to the organisation."

Sgt Radford said: "'I can honestly say that after three decades of working for Nottinghamshire Police it has truly been an honour to work alongside some fantastic people, both inside the service and in partner agencies.

"To receive this accolade is both humbling and inspiring. The work we’ve done in making lives better for vulnerable and exploited people has been difficult, but also tremendously rewarding when the initiatives succeed. I leave knowing that the work will continue and that further lives will be turned around."

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, Councillor Toby Neal, said: "Neil has done some tremendous work over many years to tackle the issue of prostitution. His efforts have helped turn around the lives of women trying to find a way out of prostitution, deter men from re-offending and reduce the impact of the problem on local communities.

"This award is richly deserved and we’re proud to have funded the Prostitution Taskforce through which Neil has achieved so much."

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