A MAN and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of running a brothel in Standish.
Officers swooped on the terraced property, on Preston Road, and seized items including a quantity of cash, cameras, sex toys, contraceptives and other related paraphernalia.
A 35-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution for gain.
Officers from the Wigan Neighbourhood Policing Team raided the premises at just after 4.30pm on Thursday, September 29, following complaints from residents.
Another address on nearby Market Street was then visited shortly afterwards by officers, and further items were also seized from this address.
Sgt Nicola Williams, from the Wigan Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “By carrying out this operation, we have reacted directly to concerns expressed by residents and businesses.
“This shows people that we take their concerns seriously, and will act upon any information given to us regarding criminal activity in Standish and surrounding areas.
“It should also serve as a warning to anyone else engaging in activities that have a detrimental effect on the lives of local people that it will not be tolerated, and that the community will work together with police to stamp out this kind of behaviour.”
The terraced property raided by police stands only yards from a supermarket and other businesses in a busy area of Standish.
Local business owners said that it had an online website, which ran under the name Sensations Escorts, offering services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with prices from £140 an hour.
The website they showed the Wigan Evening Post claims that they are “based in Standish near Wigan just a mile from junction 27 of the M6. We provide a service to our clients that is second to none. Whether you are looking for an Escort for incalls at our premises or outcalls at your home or hotel we know that we can find the right lady for you.”
The raid came as no surprise to local residents and business owners. Kim Jarvis, who lives near the property, said: “I was told by a friend in the local shop what was happening. I went past it the other day and man had just come out of the place.
“He must have parked in the Co-op as he ran to the car park. You couldn’t really miss what was happening. Everybody knew.”
One business owner, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that both he and everybody else trading or living near to the property were aware of what was going on.
The man, who has a business adjacent to the property, said: “It had been running for about three weeks. We used to see a lot of people come and go, usually round the back of the house. Then somebody found out they had a website. There were people coming in and out all day and into the evening. It was just so obvious what was happening there. Before this, it was just a house up for rent.
A local hairdresser said: “We saw lots of people coming and going into the house round the back. You couldn’t really miss it as it was obvious. Lots of men would go in and come out an hour later.”
Wigan Council’s cabinet member for the environment and communities, Coun Kevin Anderson, said: “Clearly this was unacceptable behaviour, and the residents and local businesses were quite rightly appalled.
“We are pleased that the police have taken action to rid the residents of this blight on their local community.
“I would like to congratulate people in the area for having the courage to take action and speak out about what was going on. We can only take action when we have the right information, and in this instance it is the commitment of the local community that has seen these premises closed down for good.
“It is a great example of how, working together in partnership, we can achieve the right results.”
The man and woman have been bailed until December while inquiries are ongoing.
If anyone has any information they would like to pass on to their local officers, please contact the Wigan NPT on 0161 856 7967 or e-mail email@example.com