Save Our Eyes were contacted a couple of days ago and asked to supply comments regarding the new guidance from National Police Chiefs Council on prostitution. Quotes were taken from these submissions.
The article has been published in The Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/22/do-not-treat-prostitutes-criminals-say-police-chiefs/
Since publication we have been contacted on Twitter by sex industry lobbyists demanding that we clarify our point of view on decriminalisation.
Our view is that prostituted women should be helped to exit the sex industry. Leeds Managed Approach is a unique environment where almost all the women working the streets are addicted to drugs and want to escape to find better lives. Charities like Joanna Project and Teen Challenge who work with the Leeds women say they don’t know of one single woman who wants to do her “job.” A criminal record for soliciting only prevents the woman obtaining legitimate employment if and when she is able to exit.
However, we expect crimes against our community to be prosecuted. Anti-social behaviour and intimidation of residents by prostituted women needs to be dealt with. For example, one resident was subjected to death threats outside his house which is not in the managed zone. He asked a woman politely not to solicit outside his house and she responded by saying she would kill his dog, slit his throat and then burn down his house while his children slept.
A few weeks ago, the handbag of a local resident was stolen inside a local church. http://saveoureyes.co.uk/prostitution-affects-people-working-holbeck/
Another recent attempted theft involved a prostitute trying to steal the purse of a young mum while she was pushing her baby in a pram.
A pensioner was threatened and chased by a group of prostituted women and pimps. http://saveoureyes.co.uk/harassed-by-prostitutes-and-pimps-holbeck/
We are astonished that some sex industry campaigners have suggested that de-criminalisation of prostitution should also lead to non-prosecution of other crimes. This is an example of the entitled behaviour of the sex industry that Claire’s quote referred to.
You may read our full responses submitted to the Telegraph below.
As a Leeds resident living on the periphery of the UK’s first and prolific ’Managed Approach’ to street prostitution I feel as if this revised police guidance report is akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the stricken Titanic.
These summer months again see the street sex industry flourish alfresco in its daily circus in front of our homes, schools & businesses. The term ‘sex work’ conflates the many facets of the sex industry and the myriad of roles within it. The controllers, criminals & coercers profiting from this sale of others seem to hide under the ‘sex work’ umbrella with those that are their commodities.
The sliding scale of ‘sex worker’ suffering is cleverly blurred by focusing on those fortunate enough to have had a choice in their occupation, who work indoors, who are not coerced and addicted rather than properly scrutinising the hideous extent of human suffering and organised crime playing out in our streets where street prostitution has been encouraged to populate.
Equally, the use of the National Ugly Mugs app for reporting dodgy punters possibly diverts ‘sex worker’ experiences of violence and abuse away from the standard policing structures and into it’s secretive vaults and therefore hushes the true extent of the sex trade chaos from appearing on the usual crime statistics as well as being funded and nurtured by far reaching global networks of organisations and Neo-philanthropists pushing their agendas of decriminalisation of the sex industry across the world to the detriment of our communities….why?
It would seem this guidance document further encourages the police to consider prostituted women too ‘vulnerable’ to be robustly chastised for rule breaking or prosecuted for genuine crimes properly, therefore this decriminalisation encourages a sense of entitlement in the prostituted women, their pimps and kerb crawlers which is all evidenced in the brazen behaviour of Holbeck’s street sex traders and their customers who break all the conditions of the Managed Approach here because they know they are a protected species.
I’m in disbelief that the author of this report compared working as a prostitute to being a barmaid, entirely inappropriate and irrelevant.
The community of Holbeck are regularly approached by the prostituted women selling sex here, their parasitic pimps & addict hangers on eagerly awaiting their next hit or the deviant kerb crawlers leering at school girls in uniform. They verbally abuse people, solicit, spit at and use class A drugs and even pinch phones and purses from the public in the streets or at community meetings and churches. Why should a minority in society be let off breaking the laws that the rest of us have to adhere to? It’s an absolute double standard that dents community morale and disincentivises good citizenship for the rest of us.
There is no denying that the majority of people who end up in the sex trade did not plan for this vocation, let alone find it safe or enjoyable, hence the addiction rates. Many of them experienced childhood trauma, neglect or abuse that are the precursors to insecurities, chaotic lifestyles and a lack of self worth that offer a malleable soul for the taking.