I hadn’t gone far at all, I hadn’t even reached Holbeck Moor, when a punter in a car dropped a woman off in the street near me. She and I were walking in opposite directions towards each other. I thought she’d just pass me by but she asked “Are you looking for business?”
I kept my head down and didn’t reply, just kept walking. She changed direction and started following me, shouting at me “You don’t want business? What’s wrong with you? Aren’t I good enough for you?” I thought the safest thing to do was keep quiet and keep walking.
“It was like a zombie apocalypse… people rising up in the darkness and walking towards me…”
Then, out of nowhere, a man appeared. He joined in, shouting at me “Isn’t she good enough for you?” Now they were both after me! The man looked Asian but he wasn’t… he started shouting out in another language, possibly Romanian. His shouts drew other people out from the darkness. People were appearing, also shouting in a language I could not understand. Moving towards me. It was like a scene from a zombie movie. I couldn’t see them properly, I could only see their shapes coming closer. That’s when I started to think I was really in trouble.
When the event finished I left the building around 1.15pm. Straight away a prostitute approached me asking if I wanted business! I was already talking to someone on my mobile phone so I ignored her and did not reply. Then she started following me in the street shouting at me! I turned around to go back to the meeting as some people were still there chatting. I wanted the councillors to come out with me and see what was happening. The woman followed me all the way to the door.
Helen’s 13 year old daughter was harassed by a punter. She explains, “The “managed approach” has made the punters and prostitutes much bolder than they were before. Their attitudes towards the local residents can be shocking. The sex industry are trying to claim the whole of Holbeck, not just the small area they have been allocated for the zone.”
Read their story here
Strictly copyright Save Our Eyes 2019. John was interviewed by SOE committee member, Paula, on 30th May 2019