Wycombe man is the last to be convicted from Operation Circle

01/07/2011

A 52-year-old man is the last of twenty-six men to be convicted as part an intelligence-led operation last year to tackle the problem of street prostitution in Chalvey and Baylis.

Mahmood Hussain, of Chairborough Road, High Wycombe, was fined a total of £1,650 at Bracknell Magistrates' Court on Monday (27/6), after he was found guilty of soliciting a person or persons for the purpose of prostitution.

Hussain, together with twenty-five other men, mainly from Slough, were arrested as part of Operation Circle, which ran between 15 and 18 March 2010. All twenty-six men were charged with soliciting a person or persons for the purpose of prostitution.

Nineteen of the men pleaded guilty and were fined at court. Sixteen of them were fined £495; two were fined £295; and one was fined £395.

Five men, including Hussain, pleaded not guilty at the time of the court case and were bailed to stand trial. Two other men - one who failed to attend court after being charged and another who was unable to attend court last year - were eventually arrested. They both pleaded guilty and were also fined.

Following Operation Circle's latest and final conviction on 27 June, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor, Chris Derrick, said: 'The conviction of Mahmood Hussain concludes Operation Circle, which was launched last year to combat the problem of kerb crawling in Chalvey and has seen twenty-six men brought to justice for their crimes.

'Hussain's subsequent fine of £1,650 clearly demonstrates that the courts will robustly punish those who carry out the insidious crime of soliciting for prostitutes, which has such a detrimental effect on local communities.

'The police and CPS have recently brought another thirty-two men before the courts, as part of a follow-up operation in Chalvey and we will continue to work closely together to combat this type of crime and prosecute those responsible.'

Sgt Will Halliday, who led the investigation, said: 'We have waited fifteen months for this final successful conviction. Hussain was found guilty in just four hours, following many legal arguments at court in the preceding months.

'There has been an extraordinary amount of work completed to reach this conviction. This shows our ongoing commitment and determination to rid Chalvey of kerb crawlers. We will continue to be meticulous with our operations and investigations into soliciting and prostitution offences, working closely together with CPS.

'It should be clear to all that this type of behaviour and activity will not be tolerated in Slough, and those who choose to commit such an offence will end up with a criminal conviction.'

Operation Circle is the first of two major operations carried out by police so far to tackle problems of kerb crawling and prostitution in Chalvey. The latest operation - Operation Chevron - was carried out in the Chalvey area of Slough in February this year, and led to the arrest of thirty-two men.

Similar to Operation Circle, all of the men were later charged with soliciting a person in a street or public place for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from them as a prostitute (contrary to section 51A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003).

Twenty-seven of the men pleaded guilty to the offence and were convicted at Maidenhead Magistrates' Court on 22 June.

Three men pleaded not guilty and are due to stand trial in the coming months. Two of the thirty-two men arrested, who failed to attend court have since been arrested. Mohammad Shoaib, aged 27, of Sturbridge Close, Lower Earley, Reading, was arrested on 27 June. He has since pleaded not guilty and a trial date has been set for 23 August 2011.

Darren Green, aged 42, of Halifax Road, Maidenhead, was arrested on 24 June. He later pleaded guilty to the offence of soliciting a person in a street or public place for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from them as a prostitute and has since been convicted.