WE cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand over the managed prostitution zone in Leeds.
However well-intentioned the original idea for the “managed approach” - and it did have some very good intentions - the truth is it is not being managed as effectively as it needs to be.
That might be a lack of resource or an inability to enforce the rules but whatever the reason behind this is, the outcome is that selling sex on the streets of Holbeck is not being confined to a specific area and is causing considerable inconvenience (to put it mildly) to those living nearby.
Hilary Benn is right to call this out and say enough is enough. Open drug taking, violence, people having sex in full view of houses, and men approaching non-prostitutes for business, is not what the managed zone was set up for.
The managed approach to prostitution in Holbeck is very close to just becoming “legalised” pimping - exploitation of the very women the scheme was set up to afford some protection to. And who would want that?
Nobody should be worrying about losing face over a rethink of the managed approach. Abandoning the idea altogether and leaving the women who sell sex on the streets without support and protection is not the answer either.