'Chaos' as sex workers in legalised sex zone keep residents awake

A resident of an area in Leeds spoke about the “chaos” of living near a legalized sex zone.

The man who does not want to be named lives on a street outside the cultivated area and says it has been busier than usual in the past few months.

He said he saw workers having sex behind garbage cans and people taking drugs in doors, urinating on the street, and even puking a person on the street.

The 32-year-old has filed complaints with the police and the council, Leeds Live reports.

In September last year, he left the house early to go to work and found a woman who had sex on a man near his front door. She jumped up and ran into a house while the man pulled up his pants and ran in the opposite direction.

He said sex workers regularly go to a house where they shout the tenant’s name to be allowed into the property instead of knocking on their front door any time of the day or night.

He said the police told him to contact the council and, along with a few other neighbors, he kept noise nuisance logs for about three months and handed them over to the council’s anti-social behavior team about four or five months ago.

He said the team told them to contact the police and a PSCO later told them the council had lost the logs.

The man told LeedsLive, “If you tell the police they are saying there is nothing they can do.

“We can’t handle it anymore.

“It’s happening more now than before and the police are just telling them to move on – that’s why they are moving more to the side streets in residential areas.

“We haven’t slept in a week because they screamed on our street.”

He said he saw knife crime on the street and just last week he heard a woman scream, stab him, stab him, outside his house, adding, “They said it was a dog attack but believe me it didn’t sound like a dog attack. “

The Holbeck Managed Approach is an area in Leeds where sex workers can promote the trade without fear of arrest.

The zone, jointly administered by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police, was closed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The Safer Leeds partnership states: “All powers will be used to prevent the sale or purchase of sex in the area.”

That official stance has not changed since then, but despite a decline in the number of criminal offenses during 2020, more than a dozen people have been caught soliciting or exploiting prostitution.

A spokesman for the resident group Save Our Eyes said in 2021: “The activity of the sex industry has returned to previous levels”, although the managed approach is still officially closed.

West Yorkshire Police recorded 20 prostitution-related crimes in Leeds in 2020 – 65 percent fewer than the 57 in 2019.

These include 15 crimes solicited for the purpose of prostitution and five crimes aimed at exploiting prostitution.

The offenses could be sex workers lounging on street corners or people trying to pick up a prostitute, for example by “curbing”.

Exploitation can involve the use of violence, threats, deception, or other forms of coercion to force someone to have sex. According to the English prostitute collective, this could also mean the criminal act of running a brothel where two women could work together for security reasons.

Three of the crimes – all advertising – took place during the initial lockdown, when all shops, hotels, bars and restaurants were told to close.

Another four – two for recruitment and two for exploitation – took place between October and December. Leeds was in Tier 3, which was facing the toughest restrictions, but escaped moving to a new Tier 4 when it was introduced before Christmas.

West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council have been asked to comment.

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