Westminster stops phone box cards in sleaze war

Westminster City Council has secured an injunction to stop a man from placing prostitute cards in phone boxes.

The injunction, won at Central London County Court, was sought after it became clear that court action and fines had not proved a sufficient deterrent for the Shepherd's Bush man.

The injunction, only the second to be taken out by the council, marks the latest stage in the council's battle against sleaze.

Robert Moreland, chair of Westminster's planning and environment committee, said: “I am pleased the courts are backing our campaign. Injunctions are a potent weapon in our fight to deter vice carders and we shall not hesitate to seek them where people persist in flouting the law.”

Westminster is also pushing a Bill through Parliament to control the growth of “clip joints” and shops selling sexually explicit material by introducing a licensing scheme.

Under the proposed legislation, which is about to receive its final reading in the House of Commons, the council will have powers to seek a closure on any unlicensed premises.

The Bill's progress is being hindered at the moment by Labour MP Chris Smith who raised some objections last week. Westminster City Council lawyer Gary Blackwell said he was cautiously optimistic that the Bill would be passed by the end of the parliamentary session.