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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Red light zone sites identified
A prostitute leans in to speak with a customer
The proposed sites are all in industrial estates in Liverpool
A shortlist has been drawn up for the location of the UK's first officially-sanctioned red light zone.

Liverpool City Council wants a managed zone to protect prostitutes and move them from residential areas.

They have named five suitable sites in Liverpool, on the Kempston Street and Jamaica Street industrial estates.

The final site will be selected in November, after consultation with local firms. The council will then seek Home Office approval for the scheme.

Councillor Flo Clucas, who has responsibility on the council for social care, said: "This list has been created based on what the people of this city want, and what the prostitutes want themselves.

Proposed sites for red light zone
Craven Street car park Kempston Street Industrial Estate
Devon Street Kempston Street Industrial Estate
Kempston Street car park
Crump Street Jamaica Street Industrial Estate
Newhall Street Jamaica Street Industrial Estate
"Prostitution blights many residential areas in the city and a managed zone is a positive solution to an age-old problem.

"We want to help women get off drugs and out of the game. A managed zone will help us do this."

Last month, residents in areas where prostitutes operate were consulted on the idea of a managed zone, and they were broadly in favour - so long as it was not in a residential area.

Business owners and prostitutes themselves were also consulted.

Other key criteria for the proposed zone included the area being in the city centre, in or near an industrial estate, but away from night-time businesses.

A team of experts led by Professor Mark Bellis, at Liverpool John Moores University, carried out the in-depth consultation, and identified 19 sites.

The council says five sites are suitable, with Craven Street car park the preferred choice, which already has a prostitution problem.

Prof Bellis said: "A well-designed and well-run managed zone for prostitutes should help tackle the three biggest public health problems that we currently face: violence, drug use and sexually transmitted infections."

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17 Jun 04  |  Merseyside

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