It is an arterial route from Birmingham to the Black Country – one which is brimming with culture and replete with boutiques, jewellers, fast-food joints and grocery stores.

But with such a huge footfall commuting through the area day in day out, Handsworth’s notorious Soho Road is a magnet for sex workers at night.

There are more than two dozen girls selling themselves on the strip – with one prostitute well-known for charging just £2.50 for sex.

From around 9pm every night, the vulnerable women venture out in their numbers, desperate to earn petty cash from kerb-crawling men.

Many have travelled miles across Birmingham just to be here in the city’s prostitute hotspot, safe in the knowledge it is jam-packed with thousands of passing customers – if nothing else.

Women from areas such as Alum Rock, Smethwick and Erdington flock to the bustling one-mile stretch every night to sell sex to strangers.

Some do it just feed a crippling drug habit, while other Eastern European girls do it to send cash back to their families.

It is the ‘job’ where they can make the “most money”, they often tell police, as officers try to offer support.

One hungry sex worker caught loitering and approaching passing drivers told how she turned to prostitution so she could afford to eat after her benefits stopped.

Other prostitutes of Soho Road previously revealed how their addiction to heroin and crack cocaine was the only reason they do it.

And in shocking footage above, filmed during the Summer, the two sex workers explain how they often cry during sex, ‘but the dirty b***** carry on’.

But it’s not just the girls who are suffering.

A street lined with drug addicts offering sex to men in cars, Soho Road and its eclectic businesses are being dragged through the mud as the problem runs rife.

“It puts people off passing trade, especially small businesses,” an officer explains.

“It leaves and leaves an impression on people passing through to see sex workers and the effect it has on them.

“Especially as some physically look like they’re suffering from alcohol and drug abuse.”

Now, West Midlands Police is heading up a vital operation to provide a long-term solution to the prostitution.

Operation Daytona was launched initially to educate kerb crawlers. But the preventative op also sees officers try to deter and protect the sex workers themselves.

Prostitutes caught loitering on Soho Road and the adjoining back streets are given warnings and encouraged to go home.

They are then handed leaflets and offered support from police partnership group – Safe Project.

If they persist in soliciting and do not co-operate with officers, this can lead to arrests and prosecution.

Meanwhile, the kerb crawlers are warned too, and offered speed-awareness style courses which educate them about the sex workers’ vulnerabilities.

On Friday night, a dozen prostitutes and kerb crawlers were rumbled by a group of neighbourhood officers devoted to clamping down on Soho Road’s sex work.

Some do it for food and some for drugs, says Sargent Warren-Smith.

She adds that a proportion off the sex workers are Eastern European – mainly Romanians – who sent the cash back to their family.

They do it because they believe it is the best way to make the “most money”.

And other girls will travel from across the city just to work on Birmingham’s red light strip. Women from Alum Rock, Erdington and Smethwick are just a few examples.

“They will travel because footfall is heavy in the area. I’d say about half of the kerb crawlers are local, but half of them also travel from further afield too, whether or not that’s just for the girls, we can’t be sure.”

It’s also not unusual, she adds, for commuters heading into work at 6am to spot prostitutes loitering on the major route.

She flicks through pages of paperwork – which contains photos and names of each of the known sex workers soliciting on Soho Road and the surrounding side roads.

There are 15 women on the list – and these are just women they have had multiple encounters with in the past few weeks

But it is estimated there is around 25 prostitutes working the strip.