Families' disgust as fathers on school run targeted by sex workers

EXCLUSIVE Families’ disgust as fathers on the school run are being targeted by sex workers in Britain’s failed first legal red light district – as they are now being forced to offer Christmas cut-price specials due to the cost of living crisis

Families’ have been left disgusted as sex workers in Britain’s failed first legal red light district are targeting fathers on the school run with Christmas cut-price specials. 

Sex can be bought for as little as £30 before 9am and £10 after midnight on the streets of Leeds due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Demand on the streets of Leeds exploded in 2014 when the local council introduced a policy that ‘tolerated’ prostitution.

Holbeck, the inner-city district just a mile from Leeds’ business district, became a hotspot for prostitution which was largely run by eastern European gangs with trafficked women. 

However, most of the gangs and trafficked women left the area during the Covid-19 pandemic when the truce with authorities was called off.

Sex can be bought for as little as £30 before 9am and £10 after midnight on the streets of Leeds due to the cost-of-living crisis

The prostitutes have taken to staying out until the morning when they can target wealthier clients on the school run or commute to work

The street walkers operate on the streets in broad daylight only a few hundred yards away from a school and a park

After covid, the area was reclaimed by drug-addicted UK sex workers despite the ‘tolerance’ policy being abolished. 

READ MORE: Furious residents in Britain’s failed legal red light district name and shame kerb crawlers online with men pestering local women and schoolgirls and prostitutes still walking streets two years after experiment was scrapped 

The cost-of-living crisis left customers cash-strapped which meant the prices for sex had to be dropped. 

At night, sex can be bought for as little as £10 as many of the clients at this time are also drug addicts. 

This forced some sex workers, called ‘Morning Women’ by police and charities, to pursue more wealthy clients who travel through the area as part of their school run or morning commute.

The street walkers start on their beats at dawn on weekdays in Holbeck turning the local sex industry into what locals complain is ‘now a 24-hour operation’.

They say the girls are working the streets during daylight hours to catch commuters going to work in the run up to Christmas to afford Christmas presents for their children.

One sex worker called Lexi was plying her trade on a street where prostitutes have begun soliciting from bus shelters to make what they are doing less obvious.

She told MailOnline: ‘I never usually work days. But I have had a really bad few nights and I need to buy Xmas presents for my kids.’

She offered our undercover reporter sex for £40 but then hastily added: ‘I can do it for cheaper. I could do it for 30 quid in the car.

‘There is a cash machine just around the corner. Can I just get in the car? You would be doing me a big favour.’

When MailOnline arrived in Holbeck at 7am on Tuesday, the freezing streets around the St Matthew’s Church Community Centre were in darkness and deserted.

Inside the parish hall, community workers were arriving to prepare a slap-up Xmas dinner for local pensioners.

The scantily clad women gather on street corners and at bus stops and street corners at all hours of the day

At night, sex can be bought for as little as £10 as many of the clients at this time are also drug addicts. Pictured: A police van

Pictured: A suspected sex worker walks down a street in Holbeck, Leeds’ inner-city district

The first sex workers began gathering in the shadows around the shops just before dawn at 8am, walking up and down and peering into passing cars.

READ MORE: UK’s first official red light district is to end after seven years following fall in the number of sex workers during Covid pandemic 

Within ten minutes it was daylight and the prostitutes continued walking up and down in full view of children being walked to the primary school by parents.

Mums pushing prams were seen to avoid the sex workers who positioned themselves on street corners in full view from the busy road.

However, no cars were seen to stop for the girls. Some of them eventually gave up and began knocking on the church doors begging to come out of the cold for a cup of tea.

But other girls continued to walk around the streets well into mid-morning. As more residents appeared on the streets the prostitutes gave up and went home empty handed.

But one resident said: ‘They will be back. It is now a 24-hour operation. We see them at all times of day. It is very sad.

‘They are absolutely desperate for money for drugs and to buy Christmas presents for their children. Many of the kids are in care of course – but it is still Christmas.’

The legal truce with the authorities – who mapped out part of Holbeck as a ‘managed zone’ for prostitution – ended after Covid.

Much of the Eastern European women – many trafficked by Organised Crime Groups – left during the pandemic and never returned.

However, their turf was then reclaimed by drug addicted UK girls.

Claire Bentley-Smith, who runs the Save Our Eyes group for residents to report prostitution sightings, said: ‘As parents walking children to primary school, we noticed that prostituted women were still out soliciting in the mornings, trying to flag down cars and falling off the kerb into the roads in front of families and commuter cars.

‘We often tried to help them and phoned the charities and police prostitution liaison officer to come and help.

The prostitutes now operate in broad daylight, just a few hundred yards from the local park and close to a primary school

They – or rather the violent pimps and drug dealers who control them – have turned Holbeck, once a respectable inner-city district, into an area blighted by vice

‘The charities that work with the women told us that the prostituted women would stay out all night as there was a “morning rush” when punters on their way to work in the city would call into Holbeck for a quickie with an addicted woman desperate to get enough money for her drugs, or at Christmas for their children in care.

‘The local needlebank pharmacist told me that the addicted women had become more complex users when the drug fentanyl started to be mixed into the heroin supply around 2016, making for much more desperate and unpredictable addicts, also the mixing of crack cocaine and meth, which is why women were suddenly visibly soliciting during the day where once their heroin addiction would mean they went home to rest during the day and unseen by children.’

Because street prostitution was ‘tolerated’ within Leeds City Council’s Managed Approach to Prostitution 2014, the demand from punters surged and the number of women prostituted in Holbeck went from approx 40 to 140 by 2017.

Turf wars and trafficking pimps pushed the industry into residential streets and the punters soon assumed the whole community was fair game for kerb-crawling and sex/drug use in cars in view of residents, leaving dangerous sex and drug litter outside family homes.

As the Mail found in a previous investigation when we travelled into the city to report on the backlash, the area has become a magnet for those seeking casual, commercial sex 

Commenting on the MailOnline investigation, she added: ‘Thirty pounds is actually quite expensive. We know the girls in the middle of the night sell sex as low as ten pounds.

‘We were complaining about the morning women being visible to children. 8am is later than I would expect. We often see them out on the street from dawn.

‘Prices are lower at night because the sort of clients coming at 3am are more likely to be addicts themselves. 

‘Working men going into the city in the morning are probably worth more more money. 

‘The cost-of-living crisis has also affected the money men have at their fingertips and in the run up to Xmas families are scraping money to buy presents.’

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