The pilot scheme launched in Leeds, England to allow sex workers and gamblers to engage without any fear of getting prosecuted, really comes as a surprising decision for Britain. The scheme is piloted by the police and local council and allows prostitutes to work in a managed area. This is the first time in the history of United Kingdom when an official ticket has been given to a legal red light district area.
The decision has given rise to fury among the local business and home owners. The controversial managed area in Leeds, West Yorkshire has been designed to give the sex workers and punters freedom to rendezvous without of any fear of getting arrested. Under the banner of Safer Leeds, a community safety partnership involving Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and partners, the police and the local authority are keeping an eye over the managed area which allows sex workers to get involved in sex business between 7 pm and 7 am under the pre-defined designated rules.
According to the experts, this move was triggered due to a rise in the demand for paid sex and also to ensure the safety of the sex workers. But local residents and business owners are really furious and annoyed over this liberalization as the move has contaminated the Holbeck district in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England with the discarded condoms and paraphernalia drugs.
People who are against the prostitution and angry over the decision now feel that this move will encourage people to have sex next to cars, up against buildings and can even advance the use of drugs and illegal activities, which will be really disturbing and annoying for the passersby and can have a negative impact over the mentality of children in the neighborhood.
The local council has announced that the move has improved the safety of prostitutes and made it easier for them to report crimes, which gives an indication that the pilot scheme to allow sex worker to ply their trade on the streets without fear of arrests, will continue.
The decision came just three weeks after a 21-year old sex worker, Daria Pionko, has been murdered in Holbeck located in the center of the city Leeds, by a 24-year old man who is now awaiting trial for her murder. The prostitute was seriously assaulted and has been found with several fatal injuries.
According to West Yorkshire Police Superintendent Sam Miller, the scheme is brave and pioneering and believes that having gone through years of enforcement, desired results and outcomes of breaking the cycles of sex work have not been achieved. He said that they wanted to do something different this time by being brave and taking some risks which might help them to achieve the desired outcomes. Police in the managed area will no longer make arrests for soliciting during the working hours specified. Miller said that the priority of the scheme is to make the life of sex workers safer as their job is to make people safe even when people put themselves in the risky situations. He also said that in order to handle the sex workers and to ensure their safety, a female police officer has been specially appointed.
Councillor Mark Dobson said that the legal red light district offers a pragmatic approach to the issue of prostitution. The council believes that the move has improved the community relations, safety of sex workers and allowed prostitutes to report the cases of harassment without worrying about the counter accusations.
The council said that there has been a fall in the number of complaints it has received in the managed area since the introduction of the scheme. It has realized that the prostitution cannot be stopped in the area, and the best that they can do is to control it.
Image source: in-cyprus.com
Apart from Leeds, there are several other places or red-light areas in the world where prostitution is legally allowed and are full of massage parlors, strip clubs and sex shows by naked women.
Though Belgium is known for waffles than women, but prostitution is very much legal here. De Wallen has been the largest and well known red-light district in Amsterdam and is safer, cleaner and more efficient as compared to other such areas. You will be surprised to know that Amsterdam is the only place in the world to have a bronze statue to show the respect to its sex workers. Pigalle, an area in Paris is home to classier burlesque and live sex shows and known as the epicenter of strip clubs, sex shops, peep shows and other X-rated adventure. Kabukicho, an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, is known as the “Sleepless Town.” It is a land of sexual fantasies with many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops and night clubs. Patpong is an entertainment district in Bangkok, Thailand, catering mainly to foreign tourists and expatriates. It is an official entertainment zone declared by the government which stays open till 2 am.