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Chief executive Gemma Scire said: “The Managed Approach has allowed sex workers to no longer fear being arrested and has increased reporting of crimes to the police, which in the past year has led to four cases being taken to court for prosecution.
“In three of these cases, criminals were found guilty of serious, violent crimes, thereby protecting not only the women but the residents of the community of Leeds from further potential crimes they might have committed.”She said the charity maintained that any criminalisation of sex work was wrong and it was pleased that Safer Leeds had recognised the need for additional support for sex workers in its review.
Feedback from residents and businesses showed the idea remained unpopular with some, with about a third of respondents saying they wanted it scrapped.
However, the majority thought it should be continued in its current form or with some changes made.
A detailed plan is now to be drawn up, but it will include changes to operating hours and potential changes to the area covered to reflect the impact on local businesses.
Other aspects of the plan will involved the commissioning of support services to enable women to exit sex work over the medium term and the implementation of a tactical enforcement plan to counter those drawn into the area.
Safer Leeds, which brings together Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and other partners, said it had learnt “valuable lessons” from the review and public consultation.
But the idea behind the scheme was to address some of the concerns of residents and businesses in an area that had long been known as a red light area.
Robin Eric Davidson was jailed for two years at York Crown Court on 17 October 2017 after previously pleading guilty to four charges of indecent assault on two boys under 14.