Bradford MP calls for controlled zones for prostitutes

Image caption,
Mr Sutcliffe said he wanted to see controlled zones for sex workers

A Bradford MP has called for the introduction of controlled zones for sex workers.

Gerry Sutcliffe said a change was needed to protect vulnerable women on the UK's streets.

The Bradford South MP was speaking after police recovered the remains of Suzanne Blamires and Shelley Armitage from the River Aire.

Ms Blamires, 36, and Ms Armitage, 31, both worked as sex workers in the city centre.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, has been charged with their murder, along with that of 42-year-old Susan Rushworth, also from Bradford.

Mr Sutcliffe is calling for the existing laws on prostitution to be revised and relaxed.

The act of prostitution in England and Wales is not in itself illegal - but a string of laws criminalise activities around it.

"I think we need to have another debate about what we should do," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"We have toyed around with the idea of legalisation for some time now, but I think that we could move a to step below that, which is controlled zones - having areas where the women can work safely and they are monitored by the agencies.

"You could protect vulnerable women and I think that would be a significant step forward."

He said it was unfortunate that it had taken such a tragic set of events for the issue to be brought back under the spotlight.

"It is only when there is a situation like this that it gets highlighted, but prostitution goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

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