PROSTITUTES are taking their clients to leafy suburbs and rural beauty spots to evade police arrest.

Council workers and police believe that when they are picked up by their clients in Reading"s notorious Oxford Road area they are being driven into Caversham and crossing the Thames into Oxfordshire to find peace and quiet.

They also think Reading is establishing such a reputation in the vice trade that the town is attracting an influx of prostitutes from other areas.

Jo Daly, anti-social behaviour co-ordinator for the Crime Disorder Reduction Partnership between police and Reading Borough Council, said: 'We are seeing an increase in the number of prostitutes within the Oxford Road area.

'We are also seeing an increase in the number of women coming to Reading from other areas such as Slough. We are still trying to ascertain exactly why they are coming into Reading. It is too early for us to say in terms of their background or whether it is a result of the credit crunch.'

Inspector Jim Weems said: 'We want to make sure they are safe and if they go to the darkest corners where there are not police they are making themselves very vulnerable.'

- Reading Midweek