Leeds MP Hilary Benn to visit Holbeck residents as they protest against 'managed approach' to street sex work

Residents opposed to the operation of what has been dubbed Britain's first 'legal' red light zone are set to gather again this afternoon to voice their concerns.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 4:49 pm
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 4:52 pm

They will meet at St Matthew's Community Centre in Holbeck from 4pm for the latest in a series of protests calling for an end to the city's 'managed approach' to street sex work.

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Started by community safety partnership Safer Leeds as a pilot in October 2014, the scheme allows sex workers to operate freely within certain hours on a specified series of streets in Holbeck.

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Rules set out from the beginning included not working outside the agreed times and locations, not leaving used condoms or syringes behind, and not using drugs in the street.

A ‘three strikes’ policy meant rule-breakers would get a warning for a first breach, a caution for a second and be arrested for a third infringement.

But residents have become increasingly vocal about what they say is a failure by the authorities to enforce those rules.

Today the residents are expecting to be joined by Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn, who has been invited along to hear about their concerns.