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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January 2005, 15:59 GMT
Residents support prostitute plan
Prostitutes will be offered drug advice and support
Research in Liverpool revealed that more than 80% of people are in favour of a prostitution tolerance zone.

A plan to approve the area - the location of which has yet to be decided - was due to be discussed by councillors in the city on Wednesday.

The council's aim is to move prostitution away from residential areas and operate a zero tolerance policy in all other areas of the city.

But the plans have been opposed by the English Collective of Prostitutes.

Sex for sale

A consultation on sex workers in Liverpool was carried out at the city's John Moores University.

It found that 83% of the 1,000 people who took part thought that a managed zone was the best way to tackle street prostitution. Nearly 900 people thought it would have either a positive impact on the city, or no impact at all.

Under the plan, sex for sale would be allowed within a certain zone at specified times.

The plans would put women working in isolated areas away from the eye and protection of the community
English Collective of Prostitutes

There would be a safe area for the sex workers and help and support would be available for drug-users and those that want to stop working on the streets.

But a spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes said they feared that women would be put more at risk, not made safer by the plans.

She said: "The plans would put women working in isolated areas away from the eye and protection of the community. CCTV cameras in the zone may just push women, who don't want to be identified, into other areas.

"It has not been thought through. The plans have come from professionals, making decisions over the heads of sex workers," she said.

'World's oldest profession'

The city council says the positive feedback from the public in the university study was "encouraging".

Professor Mark Bellis, director of the university's centre for Public Health, said: "The people of Liverpool appear strongly in favour of this new approach to the world's oldest profession.

"Both resident and business communities recognise that a managed zone would reduce disturbances, including drug-related incidents caused by street prostitution and help end the horrific levels of violence inflicted on prostitutes."

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