Two daily newspapers in Suffolk have banned adult services ads following a long-running newspaper campaign against sexual exploitation.
Ipswich’s Evening Star lauched its award-winning ‘Somebody’s Daughter’ campaign in the wake of the 2006 murders of five prostitutes in the town by serial killer Steve Wright.
Now the Star and its sister daily the East Anglian Times have ditched so-called sex ads from their classified columns.
Star editor Nigel Pickover and the EADT’s Terry Hunt admitted the move had cost a “significant” sum of money but said they believed it had been “the right thing to do.”
The move has been praised by local police bosses who this week wrote a letter of thanks to the two editors.
Suffolk Constabulary’s head of public protection, Det. Supt. Alan Caton said: “Just a short note on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary and the Joint Agency Strategic Group to thank you and your colleagues at Archant Suffolk for removing the ‘Adult Services’ adverts from your columns.
“We have worked closely together in recent years regarding these adverts whereby you have allowed us to publish our own messages and shared valuable information.
“The Suffolk Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution Strategy, which was developed after the tragic murders of five young women in the winter of 2006 includes the need to reduce the opportunities for prostitutes to advertise their businesses.
“I am very grateful to you and your colleagues who have listened to our position and taken the bold step of removing these adverts from your newspapers.
“I am of course aware that in removing these adverts you will have lost a significant revenue stream and understand that this will have been a challenging decision.
“We will continue to work hard to tackle all aspects of criminality linked to prostitution and your support is highly valued.”
The Somebody’s Daughter campaign raised more than £50,000 and helps fund a refuge for women trapped by drug addiction and exploited because of this.
An Archant spokesman said: “The decision by Archant Suffolk’s two daily papers to stop carrying adult services ads is a local decision.
“As a company, we have adopted the Newspaper Society guidelines for the publishing industry on adult advertising. These guidelines were developed following discussions with various government departments as well as the Advertising Standards Authority, the Committee of Advertising Practice, and the Advertising Association.”