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BIRMINGHAM PROPOSES 'TOLERATION ZONE' FOR PROSTITUTES

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A scheme to transfer the activities of prostitutes and kerb crawlers to a 'toleration' zone in a disused industrial...
A scheme to transfer the activities of prostitutes and kerb crawlers to a 'toleration' zone in a disused industrial estate has backing in Birmingham, it was reported on BBC Radio 4 Today.

Bill Grey, a probation officer who chairs Birmingham City Council's community affairs committee, bases the proposed model on a scheme in Utrecht in the Netherlands, though it would require new legislation.

he said on the programme they were not talking about 24 hours a day use of the site.

'There would be counselling for girls, it would involve a heavy police presence to deal with drugs problems and there would be medical checks, moving the problem away from areas where people live.'

Chief superintendent Barry McDonald of West Midlands police said: 'Crime would transfer to that particular industrial site and people would start breaking into premises and there would be more complaints.'

Residents of Balsall Heath, where prostitutes and curb crawling have been rife for years say the policy of the authorities had been one of containment in their area.

Rajah Amin and Conservative councillor Ken Harriman said after 25 years of misery and frustration because of the problem in the area it was time for a change.

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