I’ve been watching this BBC series about prostitution in Holbeck, Leeds, where since 2014 they’ve been trialing a ‘legalised’ red light area between certain hours in an industrial area of the city. Have you seen it? What did you think of it if so?
Secondly, how do you feel about the idea of ‘legalised’ red light zones? From what i’ve read the reaction has been generally positive but the scheme has coincided with police budgets being cut by around a third. How would you feel if the zone was next to where you lived? Attitudes to these things tend to be in favour but involve quite a bit of NIMBYism. Is it really addressing the problems, or just shifting it away from the gentrified, touristy, family-friendly parts of town?
Relatively close to where i live there used to be a red light zone (Withington Road). They cleaned the area up a bit, the working girls disappeared, but the drug dealers and beggars remained. There were about half-a-dozen ‘tolerated’ high street brothels (Chorlton) but they all closed. I understand why they might be closed if they’re being ran to profit crime, but where do these people go, especially those dependent on drugs? Is sweeping them into another, cheaper part of town addressing the problem?
Seems a bit silly to me that we don’t have regulated, funded brothels in every town, but maybe i’m being a bit simplistic. Obviously it’s an unanswerable, multi-layered issue which we’re never going to fully solve the root causes of, but what actually positive steps could be taken to help rather than just writing people off and leaving them to fight for themselves?