Police will continue to turn a blind eye to prostitution activity in an area of Leeds, after it was announced that a red light district set up in 2014 will be allowed to exist indefinitely.
This is despite the death of 21-year-old prostitute Daria Pionko, who was found with fatal injuries inside the ‘managed area’ last month.
Leeds City Council claim that the permanent red light district – thought to be the first of its kind in the country – makes prostitution “as safe as possible”.
The ‘prostitution zone’, in the Holbeck area of the city, has caused alarm among local business owners.
Greg Adams, Managing Director of an office supplies firm, said he was “genuinely horrified” when he found out about it.
“As far as I’m concerned the council and the police are breaking the law by turning a blind eye to soliciting. There have been many incidents.
As well as public sex acts, he said there was also widespread drug use, remarking that “the evidence of drugs is there to see”.
As far as I’m concerned the council and the police are breaking the law by turning a blind eye to soliciting.Greg Adams
Tony Calmonson, Director of a printing company, said the police and the council “keep saying it’s a success” but he has not encountered anyone who is in favour of the scheme.
Councillor Mark Dobson argued that although the solution “isn’t a universal cure-all”, it is “incumbent” on the council to make prostitution as safe as possible.