Forest Gate teacher urges crackdown on ‘prostitution stickers’

PUBLISHED: 08:49 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:49 02 March 2017

Workmen from Newham Council's street cleansing team scrape stickers advertising women's names and phone numbers from a lampost outside East Ham underground station.

Workmen from Newham Council's street cleansing team scrape stickers advertising women's names and phone numbers from a lampost outside East Ham underground station.


A campaigning teacher intends to take the council to court claiming Newham has failed to take action against the posting of “prostitution stickers” on its streets.

Karl O’Keeffe said he warned the council about an epidemic of sticky labels, which advertise women’s names and mobile phone numbers, on the lamp posts and street furniture in Shrewsbury Road, East Ham.

The 36-year-old, who is also taking the council to court over food dumping in Plashet Park, said: “This is a rapidly escalating epidemic for which the council does not seem to have a preventative, long-term plan.”

Karl, who lives in Forest Gate, said he sees the stickers as a sign that organised crime, people trafficking, sex trafficking and sex slavery is rampant in Newham. He said he first urged the council to take action via the Love Newham app on February 6.

“I fulfilled my part of the bargain, now they’re to do theirs,” he said.

He added: “If found liable, the council faces a bill of £2,500 for each location for each day the problem remains.”

A spokeswoman for Newham Council has disputed Karl’s claim saying they are unable to keep pace with the people responsible for posting the stickers.

She said: “Street cleansing teams are tackling the problem head on, with targeted operations to wipe them off street furniture. But the problem is persistent and very hard to police.”

According to the council, it costs tax payers £70,000 a year to remove the stickers with £10m spent annually on street cleaning.

The spokeswoman added that a pilot this spring will test whether applying a special paint to street furniture will stop the stickers appearing.

In addition, the council, along with police officers, are collecting the numbers to stop them working and identify who is posting them.

“We need to catch the perpetrators of this anti-social behaviour in the act, and unlike offences like fly-tipping, CCTV is of limited use, as often there are no leads to follow up, like vehicle registration numbers for example,” she said.

“In addition to the stickers, the council is trying to tackle the brothels that fuel them. Last year alone we closed down 19.”

Related articles

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 20:48

County Championship, day one: Essex (yet to bat) trail Nottinghamshire (311-6) by 311 runs

Yesterday, 17:30

Read our World Cup blog which will be featuring over the coming weeks. Lane Dias reviews match one on day seven of the tournament.

Yesterday, 17:00

Kingsford Community School’s year seven boys’ football team completed a superb quadruple by lifting the London Cup on Monday, writes Lee Power.

Yesterday, 15:51

NBA returns to the capital for a ninth regular-season game

Yesterday, 15:00

The former Jamaica international has played against Panama twice and knows they can be a tough opponent on their day

Jobi McAnuff
Yesterday, 14:30

Old Loughtonians are hosting the Tom Wilson Memorial Tournament on Saturday, two days ahead of what would have been his 25th birthday.

Yesterday, 17:46

Detectives have released harrowing CCTV footage which shows a woman being murdered by her jealous ex-boyfriend who was jailed for life today.

Yesterday, 15:26

A woman has died after being knocked down by a bus in Stratford High Street.


Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now