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Two Given Formal Cautions for Massage Stickers in Walthamstow

Two people were arrested and given formal cautions last week as Waltham Forest Council’s crackdown on stickers offering ‘massage’ services in the borough continues.

The arrests were made on Thursday 27 April during a Waltham Forest Council-led enforcement day. Police and Council officers were alerted to a male and female seen attaching stickers on items of street furniture along Hoe Street in Walthamstow.

Police stopped and searched the suspects and found them both in possession of a significant quantity of credit card-sized advertisements displaying the word ‘massage’ with a telephone number to call. Council CCTV cameras also captured the suspects attaching the illegal advertisements to the street furniture.

The local Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team arrested both individuals for criminal damage, which they both admitted to during interview. Both were given formal cautions, which will stay on their criminal records for the next four years.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This is a good result and shows how serious we are about ridding the borough of the blight of these stickers. This is not the end of our investigations into this particular case, and we are following up on possible further illegal activity.

“Posting stickers like this is illegal and is often linked to more serious criminal activity such as prostitution. That’s why our officers are working daily to remove these stickers, and we are also liaising with our police partners to track down and punish those responsible. We have already shut down five ‘massage parlours’ in the borough that were believed to be operating as brothels, and we are continuing our work in this area.”

As part of its work to combat fly-posting the Council is also trialling a new type of paint on lamp columns around Leytonstone, which gives an uneven surface so stickers are more difficult to attach, and can be removed much more quickly.

If you have any information on illegal advertisements being attached to street furniture in Waltham Forest please email

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