A CRACKDOWN on Bolton’s on-street vice trade has resulted in more than 150 prostitutes and 115 kerb-crawlers being arrested in the last two years.

The latest figures were released as police renewed their pledge to rid Bolton of on-street prostitution.

Between November, 2007 and April 28 this year, police patrolling Bolton’s red light district between River Street and Bradshawgate near to the town centre, arrested 153 women for soliciting sex and 115 men who were caught trying to pay for sex.

Of those 115 men, 100 were made to attend a “kerb-crawlers’ session” at Bolton police station where they were told about the effect kerb-crawling has on neighbourhoods — and how women are forced into prostitution.

Six men were charged and nine are on bail until the next session later this month.

Nine persistent prostitutes have also been made subject to Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in a bid to curb their activities.

Inspector Phil Spurgeon, who is in charge of Bolton’s central division and has taken the lead in the fight against on-street prostitution, said: “We are determined to rid Bolton of street prostitution. I do not think people should be able to come to the town and buy sex on the streets.

“We will continue to tackle kerb-crawling, prostitution and the anti-social behaviour problems which can occur as a result.”

If the men arrested for kerb-crawling are first-time offenders and agree to attend the education session, they are not prosecuted.

They are given a police caution, but their names are not made public.

It is also made clear to those attending that there will be no second chance. If they get caught kerb crawling again, they are charged and go to court, with the risk of publicity.

Buying or selling sex is legal but many prostitution-related activities, such as soliciting and pimping, are not.