POLICE shut down a house in Hayes, believed to be used as a brothel, using new powers, in what is a first for the Metropolitan Police .
Officers visited the house, in Botwell Lane, after a three-month investigation into the business, which was advertised as a massage parlour.
One neighbouring business owner, who has asked not to be named, said: "I don't know for sure what went on there, but you would see 'funnies' coming in and out at all hours of the day. It's good that the police have put a stop to things."
A man and two women were found at the house during the visit and questioned.
No arrests have been made and investigations continue.
A closure notice was served on the property by the Townfield and Heathrow Safer Neighbourhood Teams last week, and a three-month closure order was granted by Uxbridge magistrates the following day.
It is believed to be the first property to be shut under a provision of the Policing and Crime Act 2009, which came into force on April 1. Previously, police had no authority to force closure of such venues unless anti-social behaviour or use of class A drugs was evident.
Past enforcement visits to the house did little to combat the problem for this reason.
This new legislation is designed to disrupt anyone involved in 'sexual exploitation', and allows local authorities and police to temporarily close premises associated with prostitution-related offences.
The new laws also hold liable people who pay for 'prostitutes under duress'.
Inspector Mike Smith of Hillingdon police, said: "Sergeant Andy Shuker from Townfield SNT recently closed three premises associated with anti-social behaviour in East Avenue, and this further closure using the new legislation shows our commitment to dealing with these isolated problem premises.
"It attracts an undesirable clientele from far and wide, and we understand that the reputation and feeling of safety within that area can suffer badly.
"No one should doubt that these premises exist through the exploitation of young women, who find themselves in desperate circumstances."