Red Light District Leeds

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One minute a girl would appear to be standing by a a set of railings or leaning by a wall, then they would move around a corner and they would be gone. Family portrait! When asked about the cars driving round the area, she said: Air New Zealand is reviewing mandatory make-up rules after Virgin dropped the requirement for female flight She looks towards the faceless man inside, but there is fear behind her smile. Butchered in front of their cage-mates: John's fiancee Kseniya Mikhaleva cannot attend his memorial service because of a visa issue

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You get a lot of lads driving round here, just eyeing us all up, and that's gone down a bit since the police presence has stepped up. But it hasn't stepped up — not really. There are two officers who cycle round here a few evenings a week, but what can they do on a bike? If they see something going on, by the time they've got over here it'll have moved on. The police cars have died down loads recently, but I think they were only really here to say they'd visited in the first place.

There's a big problem with language, too; a lot of the girls here don't speak a word of English, so if the police speak to them they don't have a clue what's going on. We've only been talking a few minutes before a car pulls up a few metres away and flashes its lights. Erica stubs her fag out under her heel and gives me a brief nod, before lazily strolling over towards the car.

She raises her eyebrows at our approach, but stops to talk to us, on the condition that we stay under the bridge. I've been doing this for long enough now that I can't really imagine a nine to five job — it might even be too boring in comparison. Do the police talk to the workers much? I've never spoken to them myself, but I think some of the women here have done before, once or twice.

They've given up with controlling it, in my opinion. I'm not surprised, to be honest; nobody really wants to spend their evenings wandering around Holbeck, do they? It's not a nice place to be, and they know that the problems here are too well hidden to be stopped. There's so much violence that nobody really sees, unless you're here every night, all night. How do you think the area could be improved?

We've heard this and that about number plate recognition and stuff, but it won't be enforced. So many men who come here like it because it's shit, it's seedy, it's anonymous. There's little to no chance the details will get back to their wives or friends. It would make the area a lot safer, yeah, but it would also make it a lot harder for all of us to make a living — it's already a stretch because there are quite a few of us.

While Holbeck is undoubtedly the safest place for sex workers in Leeds, and a great example of a progressive approach to a complicated issue, it seems that not a huge amount has changed for the women working there. While they might not be arrested for doing their job, they don't feel that they're being offered the same kind of protection as they say they were promised.

How to Make Sex Work Safer. Jack Wright. Has the pioneering scheme in Leeds' Holbeck district actually made sex work safer? More VICE. Save Yourselves. VICE Elsewhere. An experiment to allow sex workers in Leeds to ply their trade without fear of police action looks set to be extended after being hailed a success by city chiefs.

The strategy, which was quietly introduced on October 1 last year, has attracted some criticism from local business people who say they are blighted by problems associated with prostitution and are unhappy that police are not enforcing the law.

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But, as the end of a month pilot approaches, council and police chiefs say there is evidence it has been successful and is likely to continue.

Once the industrial heartland of Leeds, Holbeck has had an unwanted association with prostitution for several years, during which the authorities admit they have struggled to deal with the issue. A study carried out by Dr Kate Brown, a researcher from York University, found that the policy of police enforcement — through which the law was used against women who were working in the sex trade — had failed to reduce levels of prostitution or associated problems.

Dr Brown said: We had a decade of enforcement, high levels of anti-social behaviour orders being issued to sex workers and lots of fines, and that had made very little difference to local residents and to the numbers of complaints. The managed area, which was introduced after consultation with residents and businesses, means that the women will not be hassled by police as long as they stay within the designated area and work only between 7pm and 7am.

A three-strikes policy means women found breaking the rules will initially be given a warning, cautioned if they transgress again and face arrest if they are caught a third time. According to the agencies involved, since it was introduced, the scheme has seen complaints from residents fall by a third.

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It is still early, just after 8pm, in the Holbeck district of Leeds, a poor, working-class industrial heartland south of the city centre. News all Most Read Most Recent. Anna is a waif-like figure no more than years-old. Porn users will have to supply a driving licence or other ID to watch X-rated clips online from as early as What 'cowardly' hit-and-run driver, 23, told police It is her niece — the only family member who knows of her other life. Except in Holbeck, sex work is no longer deemed a crime.

‘Managed’ red light district in Leeds hailed a success:

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Terrified dogs Man is arrested in Leicester over the murder of girl scout Jodie Chesney, 17, who died after being stabbed They insist it's a healthy and ethical choice People will stop coming if there are prostitutes in here. Prostitution — paying someone for sex — is not in itself illegal, but all the activities associated with it, such as soliciting and kerb-crawling, are. First person ever cured of HIV hails news of a second:


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