British prostitutes are crossing the Channel from central London to suburban Warwickshire and Berkshire in droves.

It’s the third biggest flight of sex workers from Britain into the rest of the country since 2009, fuelling an arms race between police forces to apprehend them.

The biggest destination for British prostitutes during the 2014-17 period was the ‘coastal area’ around Scarborough, Tyne and Wear, which includes Hull and Whitby.

Locations once dominated by British prostitutes such as London (above) have seen the most significant drop in numbers in the last five years

Some 5,000 prostitutes entered the UK from England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 2013 and 2017 – a 35 per cent increase.

The next largest contributors were Cambridge and Norwich, home to part of the English Channel, where prostitutes have been spotted from an early age.

The dramatic increase in the numbers of prostitutes crossing the Channel has also led to a resurgence of prostitution activities in the East Midlands.

Catherine Terrence, from the anti-trafficking charity Operation Scarlett, said the reason behind the influx was two-fold: ‘Those who have migrated to the UK have been in countries where prostitution is legal, but the second reason is the extremely poor living conditions, in Britain, for the girls who have migrated here.’

Statistics from police forces in Surrey, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, and the Metropolitan Police, show that prostitutes have increased by 40 per cent since 2009 – a trend that runs across the UK.

Three of Britain’s biggest cities have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of prostitutes, with London and Manchester seeing the biggest fall in numbers in the last five years.

Last year saw a drop in the number of prostitutes in London from 12,913 to 11,931, with Westminster dropping 6 per cent and Camden 10 per cent.

Lawrence, which was once Britain’s busiest city with the most prostitutes by number of women in 2017, saw a decrease of 28 per cent from 2016.

Sheffield had a decrease of 21 per cent, reaching a five-year low, while Bristol reported a drop of 14 per cent.

The biggest destination for British prostitutes during the 2014-17 period was the ‘coastal area’ around Scarborough, Tyne and Wear, which includes Hull and Whitby (above)

While the number of prostitutes continues to increase in most areas, the number of women working in the North East has fallen dramatically.

Durham Police dropped by a staggering 55 per cent, but Northumbria Police and Heriot-Watt University reported a rise of 41 per cent.

Since 2012, prostitutes have also appeared in Salford and Preston, Merseyside, previously considered a particularly transient location.

The routes of the foreigners have given the police a reason to question the crime fighting techniques being adopted by some.

Robin Bolton, who runs Operation Scarlett, said: ‘Young girls are likely to be forced into prostitution.

‘They don’t usually come to Britain because of the drugs, they come because it’s easier to get the money. The sex slaves come to Britain.

‘Once they come they can’t get out because they are lost on their own.

‘If they’re looking for a higher degree of welfare then they’ll come here because we have more welfare support than anywhere else.’