Swift action by residents of Mourneview Street has stopped the development of “a thriving brothel” in the cul-de-sac.
And the PSNI has praised the residents for their important information “in preventing and detecting crime, following recent reports of suspicious activity in the area”.
Residents called in Councillor Robert Smith, the borough council’s representative on the Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), and said that a house in the street was being used as a brothel.
They added that three women had been occupying the house and that “men were pulling up in cars night and day”.
Said Mr Smith, “I reported it to the PSNI, along with car registration numbers that the residents had given me. The police called and the activities then ceased.
But a few days later, the residents told me, two different women turned up. But that, too, has been stopped by police action.
“The strange thing was that, as soon as the house was being used for what we believe were unlawful purposes, the cars began arriving. It seems to have been well organised, although it also appears that the women weren’t acting against their will as in the so-called slave trade. According to the residents, they seemed quite compliant.
“Long established residents contacted me, and they were totally affronted that a respectable area like Mourneview Street should be subjected to such activities. The elderly people here are church-going and they are really shocked.”
He added that the police again acted the second time around, and the problems went away. “But there are reportedly three or four houses in Portadown being used for these purposes and the residents there must do the same and put an end to this.”
Police have confirmed that they received a number of reports of concern, and targeted patrols and resources to the area. They are confident that “our visible presence in the area has helped to deter criminal activity”.
Inspector Gary Jones, Portadown Neighbourhood Policing Team, said, “The importance of the public providing us with information cannot be emphasised enough. In this case, I believe that reports of concern from the local community helped us to prevent crime.
“As the public provide us with more information we can build up a more accurate picture of what is happening in each area and target our resources accordingly. We want to make sure that everyone in the Portadown area is able to live in a safe and secure environment and we will continue to target those who seek to break the law.”
The police can be contacted through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.