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Britain’s first official red light district should remain, report finds

Britain’s first official red light district should stay, a report has found.

An independent review of the scheme in Holbeck, Leeds, said there was no better option to tackle positively the problems caused by ‘on-street sex working’. 

The scheme is costing taxpayers £200,000 a year and has angered residents.

Started in 2014, its so-called managed approach means police no longer issue cautions or make arrests between 8pm to 6am for loitering, soliciting or kerb-crawling offences.

An independent review of the scheme in Holbeck, Leeds, said there was no better option to tackle positively the problems caused by ¿on-street sex working¿ [File photo]

An independent review of the scheme in Holbeck, Leeds, said there was no better option to tackle positively the problems caused by ¿on-street sex working¿ [File photo]

An independent review of the scheme in Holbeck, Leeds, said there was no better option to tackle positively the problems caused by ‘on-street sex working’ [File photo]

Leeds council commissioned the University of Huddersfield to review the policy. 

The report, published yesterday, concluded: ‘There is currently no alternative approach that promises to be more effective and which fits within existing laws.’

But Save Our Eyes, a residents’ campaign group, said the review had ‘not taken seriously the frequent threats to residents from prostituted women, pimps and kerb crawlers’.

A spokesman for the group added that many residents were ‘furious’ with the report and one woman whose 12-year-old daughter witnessed a rape was ‘too angry to even talk about it’.

The ‘managed approach’ rules apply to a specific area in Holbeck, which is predominantly used by light industry, retail and small businesses, but the prostitution problem has spread to residential streets in the surrounding area.

The report’s recommendations will now be discussed by the council. Councillor Debra Coupar said the residents’ concerns ‘cannot and will not be ignored by us’.

Started in 2014, its so-called managed approach means police no longer issue cautions or make arrests between 8pm to 6am for loitering, soliciting or kerb-crawling offences [File photo]

Started in 2014, its so-called managed approach means police no longer issue cautions or make arrests between 8pm to 6am for loitering, soliciting or kerb-crawling offences [File photo]

Started in 2014, its so-called managed approach means police no longer issue cautions or make arrests between 8pm to 6am for loitering, soliciting or kerb-crawling offences [File photo]

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