Despite Covid restrictions and some freezing evenings it has been a busy start to the year in Holbeck with regards to on street prostitution.
There were fewer kerb crawling punters around this month which could be due to covid restrictions or maybe less dosh around due to Christmas credit cards or huge tax bills payable by those self-employed businessmen!
The map shows the “zone” in blue where sex industry activity is supposed to be contained between the hours of 8pm and 6am. In reality, activity takes place across the residential areas indicated by the yellow pins 24 hours a day.
Maybe it was due to there being fewer punters around that the prostituted women were more prevalent pacing about the streets trying to keep warm whilst they were in between clients. There have been several new faces this month among the women seen in their usual places: St Matthews Street (near the Kings Arms) , Stocks Hill, St Matthews Church/ Community Centre, Shafton Street, Czar Street, outside the Evangelical Church and other parts of Beeston such as Malvern Street. These are mainly residential streets taken over by the sex industry: the activity is supposed to be contained in the managed “zone” instead. But it’s not… hence our 3 ½ year long campaign to improve the situation and see the Managed Approach phased out.
On the very snowy evenings it was quiet but then became even busier when the snow cleared. A couple of evenings the Managed Team “zone cops” were absent and on one the “Batphone” unattended. It was discovered later that the team had been drawn away on 11th Jan to a shooting in Middleton and on 21st to the fire at the LGI. The 21st was particularly busy with regard to on street prostitution so the Team were really missed that evening.
Apart from those occasions, residents praised the Team for responding quickly during their working hours. Although when they finish at 6am there seems to be still a spattering of regular women about who are not being spoken to.
Many fines were handed out this month but they were given for breaking Covid restrictions rather than soliciting for punters.
Here are a few of the activities reported over the last week in January:
24.1.20 A local business reported needles and bloody tissue in their grounds
26.1.20 Four women soliciting outside St Matthews at 3.30am. The witness refused to text it in saying “police don’t do anything”
27.1.20 19:17 Woman soliciting outside Evangelical Church
27.1.20 20:00 Woman picked up by police outside St Matthews
28.1.20 Random stops by police. Managed team picked up two women
30.1.20 17:30 Woman picked up by a punter in a silver Volvo estate outside Holbeck Mills
31.1.20 15:20 Woman approached a white van on car park at St Matthews asking for business (he declined)
31.1.20 17:22 Three police officers spoke to a woman who then went off up Shafton Lane but later came back again.
31.1.20 21:46 Two women soliciting on St Matthews Street , plus a silver Peugeot car was reported for kerb crawling
31.1.20 22:49 outside the barbers on Brown Lane East a woman came up to male resident’s car window when he was turning at the junction and asked for business.
Monday 1 st Feb approx 21.30
Just reported a prostitute on St Matthews Street black boots black jeans white Parker jacket brown hair police on way.
Another one on St Matthews Street blue jeans black boots big brown scarf brown jacket green hat. Reported to dedicated number pcso on way on foot from station
Only one pcso on and she’s on foot from elland road x so she’s got no chance of catching
NOW AVAILABLE! The Listening Well report by Voice of Holbeck shows the impact of street prostitution and the managed approach on the community nearby. You can obtain a PDF copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All the reports above were made in the 1-2 weeks prior to publication of this blog post on 1st Feb.
On the left is the same resident’s 4th report to the cleansing team on 4th Feb 2021. This time they spotted a used condom at the park. The local shops can be seen in the background. Used condoms are thrown to the floor at the site of public sex acts. This is a residential street away from the managed zone.