Prostitutes have been accused of “ruining” a once thriving area of High Wycombe, with a councillor slamming the sex workers for ‘treating every staircase as their territory’.

Earlier this week, Wycombe District Council gave the green light to introduce a crackdown on people selling sex in the Desborough Road area, which could see prostitutes and kerb crawlers slapped with £1,000 fines.

Once seen as the best street in town, the area is now considered a haven for prostitutes, who go to work during daylight according to nearby residents.

Speaking to the Bucks Free Press, councillor Lesley Clarke, said: “It’s as though they think each staircase is their territory – it’s just out of order.

“Hopefully by using these orders it won’t be happening as much, but it needs to be properly policed.

“I just think the whole anti-social behaviour is a problem for our residents in that area. It’s not just prostitution, there’s people drinking, there’s people selling drugs, there’s a lot of anti-social behaviour.”

Last year, the current deputy mayor of High Wycombe, Maz Hussain, claimed he had been approached by prostitutes a number of times after parking nearby, while businesses have also made complaints.

This “anecdotal evidence” on sex workers in the area ensured the issue was put back on the table this week, with members voting in favour of using new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) powers to curb all “prostitution-related” problems ahead of a consultation with members of the community.

This is despite Thames Valley Police statistics showing no reported crimes relating to prostitution last year.

Tory councillor Alan Hill said: “It’s mostly in the evenings, but any time from around 7pm they start to gather around the Desborough Road area.

“It’s not every night, but quite often two or three of them can be seen hanging around.

“I’ve spoken to quite a few residents and shop owners about it and they really don’t like it happening, it brings the whole tone of the area down.

“There’s prostitutes, and people looking for them, drunks and drug addicts.”

He added: “Desborough Road has completely changed. Years ago it was a marvellous street.

"We used to have a butchers, toy shop, shoe shop – everything. You could easily get anything you wanted, but now it’s completely different.

Desborough Road, High Wycombe.

"Unfortunately, it has been ruined over the years and it is not the same anymore, and this is making it worse.”

Zafar Iqbal, the manager of Flame Grill, in Desborough Road, said: “We’ve never had any problems by the shops, no complaints from customers or anything like that.

“Sometimes we see a few girls standing out around the back, but other than that there has been nothing.”

WDC Cabinet members also voted on Monday to introduce a new order to stop the “ongoing problem with regular street drinkers” who congregate in High Wycombe town centre.

Cabinet member for community, cllr Julia Adey, said: “Wycombe District Council wishes to ensure High Wycombe is a pleasant, vibrant and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.

“Cabinet agreed on Monday to proceed to a public consultation on the proposed implementation of two Public Spaces Protection Orders – new powers which give authorities the opportunity to restrict anti-social behaviour that has a detrimental effect on business, residents and visitors.

“The first of the proposed PSPOs replicates the existing Designated Public Place Order. The new order is more flexible and gives the council and the police the power to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in High Wycombe town centre, The Rye and Desborough Road.

“The second order was suggested by councillors after listening to concerns raised by residents and business owners to restrict and tackle prostitution-related activities in an area yet to be formally designated around Desborough Road.”

A three month consultation with police, land owners and other community figures will take place before the powers are adopted.