Murder in Leeds "Managed" Red-Light District Shows it is Time to End it

Prostitute Murdered In Leeds "Managed" Zone


Murder in Leeds "Managed" Red-Light District Shows it is Time to End it

4,124 people have signed. Help us reach 5,000 signatures.

Murder in Leeds "Managed" Red-Light District Shows it is Time to End it

Despite the murder of a young Polish prostitute, Daria Pionko, in Leeds just days before Christmas, a pilot-schemed “red-light” district has been given the go-ahead and is set to become a permanent feature of the city.

Within the Holbeck region of the city, prostitutes will face a substantially reduced likelihood of arrest for loitering, soliciting and kerb crawling between 7AM and 7PM while complying with some specific rules.

The reason for the City Council’s decision is that they say their efforts to reduce the incidents of prostitution over the last 10 years have failed and so they have concluded, in a strange distortion of logic, that less policing will somehow serve the safety of the prostitutes.

Indeed in the light of the recent murder of a prostitute, this kind of reasoning is truly tragic. Beyond taking away the fear of prosecution, this "managed" district does very little to solve the very real dangers that come with being a prostitute. Nor does it do anything for the human dignity of those who sell the bodies for sexual favours.

Being unafraid to report an assault, still means an assault, and this “managed” district will surely offer little solace to any future the murder victim. Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely than the general population to be murdered, and the reasons why this is the case remain completely unaddressed.

Moreover those who sell their bodies through sex experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders at levels similar to those who have been in armed combat. So while we should of course be concerned with their physical safety, this is a not a line of work we would wish on anyone.

Demand drives prostitution. Therefore if nobody purchased sex, prostitution would be eradicated. One of the many sad realities about prostitution is that it only exists because certain members of the population (most of whom are male) continue to demand it. When those who (ab)use women working as prostitutes were asked if having their name and picture made public, being given a criminal record or a fine, or being added to the sex offenders register would deter them from buying sex, 80-85% confirmed that it would.

Given that over 90% of prostitutes across a number of countries have said that they want to escape prostitution immediately, it seems like, rather than providing a “managed” area for them to “work” it would be far better to promote routes for them to escape from it, and pursue those who use prostitutes rather than the prostitutes themselves. The fact that some people end up in prostitution as a result of human trafficking, is yet another consideration which Leeds City Council appear not to have taken into account.

Sign this petition to Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, ask him to urge the City Council to abandon their decision and asking that he pursue alternative means to help those who are trapped in prostitution.

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Leeds Red Light District is a Disaster - End it Now

Dear Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central

As I am sure you are aware, Leeds City Council’s Safer Leeds have decided to make the so-called “red-light” district pilot scheme in Holbeck, a permanent feature of the city of Leeds.  I ask, given that prostitution is widely recognised to be an extremely dangerous line of work and it is also known that many people who are involved, are not doing it of their own volition, that you use your influence to urge the City Council to shut this system down and seek an alternative approach to help people involved in prostitution in the city of Leeds.

The recent and tragic death of Daria Pionko shows that having a “managed zone” does little to improve the safety of the prostitutes.

If your daughter or someone you deeply cared about were unfortunate enough to be a prostitute in Leeds, would you promote the City Council’s “solution”? Would you promote a “managed” zone to alleviate this problem?

Demand drives prostitution. You must target those who would buy sex in the first place. 80-85% of those who buy sex admitted that they would be deterred from doing so if either

  1. their name and address was made public or,
  2. they were given a criminal record or,
  3. they were given a fine or,
  4. they were added to the sex offenders register

I therefore urge you to promote legislation which would see these tactics for dealing with those who would purchase sex, become a reality. This is the only effective means of improving the lives, not only of all those people who wish to escape from prostitution, but also, for increasing the safety of the local citizens.

[Your Name]

Murder in Leeds "Managed" Red-Light District Shows it is Time to End it

Sign this petition now!

4,124 people have signed. Help us reach 5,000 signatures.