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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
Prostitutes urged to use centre
Aberdeen has been running a tolerance zone for three years
Women working in Scotland's only official prostitute tolerance zone are being urged to make more use of a new drop-in centre.

The facility in Aberdeen's harbour district provides information on health and drugs and also acts as a needle exchange.

However, just eight women have used the service since it opened six weeks ago.

Staff from Drugs Action, which runs the centre, will spend this weekend talking to prostitutes to encourage more use.

It is estimated that Aberdeen has about 140 prostitutes.

Tolerance bill

For the past three years many of them have worked in the city's prostitute management zone.

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald believes it is an example to other Scottish cities.

Ms MacDonald is giving evidence to a Scottish parliamentary committee on her proposed prostitution tolerance zone bill.

Funding for the drop-in centre in Aberdeen means it opens only one night a week.

Drugs Action said it was early days and it expects more women to come forward.

Workers from the organisation plan to spend the weekend explaining its benefits to prostitutes.

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