Protesters in Holbeck to campaign for end to Leeds' managed sex work zone

Holbeck managed zone protesters in Leeds
Holbeck managed zone protesters in Leeds
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Protesters are gathering in Holbeck in Leeds today to call for an end to the 'legal red light zone'.

In the latest in a series of protests in the area, residents are gathering from 5pm to make their voices heard over the existence of the managed sex work zone.

The protest will take place beside the park on Top Moor Side.

The previous protest in August saw dozens of residents armed with placards take to the street to highlight their anger about the zone.

Introduced by community safety partnership Safer Leeds in October 2014, it allows sex workers to operate in parts of Holbeck during certain hours, with the aim of getting more of the women to engage with support services.

-> Children 'forced to step over condoms and needles' in Holbeck's managed zone
But residents have become increasingly vocal about the negative impact on surrounding streets and regular breaches of the scheme’s rules.

Those who turned out for the previous protest carried banners bearing messages including "We're not safe here", "Keep our kids safe" and "Stop street sex".

In July, Safer Leeds dispelled reports in a national newspaper which suggested a “crisis meeting” was being held about the future of a controversial scheme.

It said it regularly meets with a wide range of partners and stakeholders – including members of the Holbeck Reference Group set up to assess the impact of the Managed Approach – as part of its ongoing commitment.

-> The history of sex work in Leeds and the creation of the managed zone