This BBC 3 film ‘Sex Drugs & Murder: Life in the Red Light Zone’ is yet another biased piece on the sex industry. Most street based sex workers are not drug users yet the film chooses to focuses only on women on drugs. It ignores the truth that in many areas around the UK the majority of sex workers are on the streets because of benefit cuts and sanctions. If the press ignore that they are colluding with the government in hiding the devastating consequences of their austerity policies, 80% of which have targeted women.
Some women were glad to work in the Leeds ‘no arrest zone’ because it meant they weren’t being constantly harassed by the police. But since the immigration crackdown everyone is on edge and hiding from officials. Women feel that once again the police are prioritising criminalisation over protection and this is deterring them from reporting violence. This immigration swoop is part of a racist witch-hunt against migrant sex workers, which has got worse since Brexit, even though women have the right to be here under EU law.