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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February 2005, 14:37 GMT
Sex in the City
It is estimated that there are over 5,000 women working as prostitutes on Britain's streets. These women are increasingly drawn to the trade by the need to pay for hard drugs, and they risk violence and disease to fund their habits.

Maxine Allen
It's horrible, really horrible, sometimes I just close my eyes and I try and think I'm in a different place
Maxine Allen

21-year-old Maxine Allen has been working as a prostitute in Sheffield's red light district, known as the Beat, for five years.

She is desperate to stop, but feels that it is the only option. Her nightly trips to the Beat simply earn her enough money to fund her drug addiction. Despite being on a drug rehabilitation programme, she cannot seem to kick the habit.

Maxine is not alone, research by the Home Office shows that there are over 2,600 convictions for soliciting offences every year in England and Wales and over 90% of street prostitutes take heroin or crack cocaine.

Tuesday 22 March 2005, 2305GMT, BBC One
Tuesday 29 March 2005, 2305BST, BBC One
Tuesday 5 April 2005, 2305BST, BBC One
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The Beat is in a residential area where single mum Marsha Hunt has been moved to by the city council. Marsha is trying to shield her three-year-old daughter Faye from the realities of living in a red light district.

She has submitted evidence to the police explaining her distress at living alongside prostitution and wants something to be done about it urgently.

Streets of Vice: Sex in the City was repeated on Tuesday, 22 March, 2005 at 2305 GMT on BBC One.

Police crack down on prostitutes
02 Feb 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Residents support prostitute plan
26 Jan 05 |  Merseyside
Soliciting law should be changed
16 Dec 04 |  Scotland


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