FIFTEEN years after her hit TV series Band of Gold, writer Kay Mellor has questioned whether prostitution should be de-criminalised.
The Yorkshire writer heads a TV documentary tonight and looks at the effects of killers such as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and Stephen Griffiths – both murderers of prostitutes.
Presenting a feature on BBC One Inside Out at 7.30pm, Mellor says she finds it ‘depressing’ that nothing much has changed to address the dangers of working in the sex industry since she first wrote Band of Gold.
The TV series caused a storm in the 1990s by chronicling the lives of a group of women who lived and worked in Bradford’s red-light district.
Kay said: “Surely we as a society, have to think again about how we deal with prostitution? We’ve had Peter Sutcliffe, we’ve had Stephen Griffiths in Bradford ... isn’t it time that we started to think out of the box?
“Try to think what else we could do? Perhaps, you know, we could talk about decriminalisation?”
In the programme she talks to a 32-year-old sex worker who is trying to escape the industry plus a representative from the Bradford Working Women’s Service which helps sex workers, and vice squad officer Sgt Helen Metcalfe who argues that decriminalisation might not be the answer.
Sgt Metcalfe says: “I think currently if we were to decriminalise street prostitution that wouldn’t make the problem go away because, when I talk about ‘the problem’, what I’m really talking about is the fact they are addicted to drugs in the first place.
“There are very few women out on the street now who work for any other reason than to fund a drug habit.”
l Inside Out, BBC One, 7.30pm, tonight.