YEP Letters: June 9

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Sports club takings to help NHS?

Robert Holman, Farsley

news headlines about further cuts in the NHS, in the debate during Question Time more negative cliches with no answer to the problem of the shortfall in funding.

Would it be a nice gesture if owners of wealthy sports clubs gave one match 
takings a season to maintain our welfare 
state?

I think the loyal fans would be all for it.

Also, what about a computer licence charge? I’m sure YEP readers must have some positive ideas to get us out of the red.

Sex workers not always victims of trafficking

Gemma Sciré, CEO Basis Yorkshire

I am writing in relation to your article on “pop – up” brothels on June 5.

Trafficking is a serious crime and those responsible for trafficking any person should be prosecuted and victims should be supported.

As Basis Sex Work, a charity that has nearly 30 years of experience of supporting sexworkers and accurately identifying victims of trafficking and exploitation, we would suggest that the list of signs to look out for as quoted in the article are largely indistinguishable from signs that would indicate indoor sexwork is taking place – in many cases women who are sexworking out of choice and not held against their will.

Real trafficking victims are often not as obvious for the outside world to see. As the law currently stands, brothels are illegal and therefore women often move around and to remain unidentified. “Pop up brothels” does not necessarily imply trafficking.

As highlighted by experts in this field, conflating the issue of sexwork and trafficking is dangerous; it may cause those that are truly in need of support as victims of trafficking to go without support as efforts are focused on sexworkers as a whole - including those who are working out of choice.

People are also trafficked for reasons other than sexual exploitation - such as forced labour. Conflating trafficking with sexwork also increases the risk of migrant sexworkers being disproportionately targeted by the police. Our partnership with the police is based on the understanding that by conducting unjustified investigations on migrant and other sexworkers, the women will develop a greater distrust of the police as well as tying up scarce police resources.

Indeed, a sexworker who doesn’t trust the police is not likely to call the police for support when they are in real danger – or request any support for themselves or any other woman if they are actually victims of trafficking.

We were recently awarded a national GSK Impact Award. One of the factors that contributed to thiswas our strong and innovative relationship with the police in Leeds, recognising our expert input into the response to sexwork in Leeds. We feel strongly that articles and campaigns such as the above do little to support the real victims of trafficking and in fact may make things worse.

While we fully support efforts to protect victims of trafficking and prosecute the perpetrators, its important to remember that sexworkers, migrant or not, are not always victims of trafficking.

Police don’t want to be routinely armed

Andrew Hamilton, by email

The letters printed about the arming of the police were very interesting, with a mixed attitude to the subject.

I was a police officer for over 30 years, and during one period of my service, I was authorised to carry a firearm. I handed back my ‘permit’ when it was decided that the use of “hollow-point ammunition” sometimes called ‘dum-dum’ bullets, should be universally banned.

The objection being that they break up inside the targets body, and cause horrendous injury and or death. So “fully jacketed ammunition” was issued, which meant that the bullet would not explode within the carcass.

The negative side to this though was that the bullet could pass through the target’s body and retain enough velocity to strike and kill or at least injure an innocent ‘bystander’.

This was something that troubled me tremendously. As I had no guarantee that my marksmanship would disable the target individual and no other. I don’t know if things have changed ordinance-wise.

This indeed may be what accounted for an innocent party receiving a bullet wound on the evening of Saturday June 3 in the London Bridge terror attack.

What I do know is that the majority of police officers would not wish to be routinely armed. That is what I hear from my contact with police service personnel. Military action and police action, are two separate disciplines. Unless things have changed in that respect from when I was in the police. The police, police by consent. That is they carry out the protection of and ensure the freedom of society.

Our police are of the people, not like in some countries where they are almost ‘paramilitary’.

To conclude, it comes down to what ‘ordinance’ is being used, and the truth that military tactics and police tactics are somewhat dissimilar.

Trying to trace a relative

Peter Brown, by email

I am trying to trace my cousin, maiden name, Janet Robinson, believed to have married but her married name is not known to me.

Janet was the daughter of Frank Gordon Robinson and Ena Robinson and was born in 1936. They lived for many years in Berkley Drive, Beeston, Leeds 11. Janet was a Roman Catholic, but all attempts to trace her through the local churches to Beeston have been fruitless. Anyone having any information can contact me either by email: peter.brown43@hotmail.com, telephone 01509 413850 or by mail to 7 Quorndon Waters Court, Quorn Leicestershire LE12 8FN

Zoos are wrong

Ms B Briar, Leeds 17

Re: T Maunder’s view on zoos (Letters, June 3), intellectualising the reasons to keep them is the way misguided people insist on supporting the existence of these places – zoos are wrong – will we never learn?

Leave nature to cope with the natural rhythm of wildlife, I doubt whether turning these animals into sideshows and depriving them of their own territory is the answer.

Let us protect their true environment and be tough on those who seek to destroy their habitat.

Poor planning for retirement

Graham Branston, Rawdon.

UNLIKE many individuals who are prudent and plan for their retirement, successive governments have not done so for the consequences of an ageing population, which they have known about for decades.

Governments will continue to increase the state pensionable age because it reduces the financial burden on the Treasury, but may result in more demands on the NHS.

In my view, the inadequate forward planning by politicians make a blanket retirement age of, say 70, outrageous.

After a long working life, people deserve to retire while they are reasonably healthy.

Let’s get relief road named after RL great

David T Craggs, Barnsley

What an excellent idea to name the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road the ‘Neil Fox
Way’.

I lived for many years on the east coast, just south of Hornsea, and travelled regularly to West Yorkshire to visit friends and family.

I therefore travelled through Hull along the ‘Clive Sullivan Way’ also named after a famous and well thought of rugby league player.

YEP Letters: November 21