VICE girls are blighting businesses in Huddersfield, say traders.
Prostitutes are scaring away customers, abusing staff and littering premises on Great Northern Street and Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Hillhouse.
And it happens at all times of the day.
Vince O’Neill, owner of Huddersfield Electrical Merchants, said: “One day we had a collection of condoms round the back so big there was enough rubber to retread a tractor tyre.
“We have been here seven years and it was in full swing when we arrived.
“A lot of customers and sales reps are accosted when they come in. It’s a pain in the neck.”
The area has long been used by street workers.
Prostitute Helen Rytka was murdered by Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe in Garrards timber yard on Great Northern Street in January, 1978.
On October 4 last year 39-year-old street worker Geraldine Brocklehurst was stabbed to death on Lower Fitzwilliam Street by Shane Haynes, 22.
Robert Walker, who runs Great Northern Street Motors, is still trying to claim compensation for earnings he lost as a result of the closure of his business while police investigated.
He also said business was suffering, adding: “They leave beer bottles and rubbish lying around and every now and again we find hypodermic needles.
“We have Tesco at one end of the street and Great Northern Retail Park at the other, but we get absolutely no passing trade.
“Last week we had a customer come in at 9am. As soon as he went out one of the women started hassling him. He was meant to be coming back that afternoon, but he never returned.”
Mr Walker said the street became a no-go area after work.
“It’s becoming a turf war,” he said.
“I usually finish between 4pm and 5pm and if I come back after closing I can’t get in because they are all round here.
“If you ask them to move on it’s like you are the bad guy, the ogre.
“We are the ones trying to run proper businesses and paying our rates and we have no protection.
“The police don’t want to know. The coppers on the ground are generally very good, but it’s the ones higher up, in their offices, who just aren’t interested.”
A police spokesman said they knew about the problem.
But he added: “It is important that any incidents or concerns are reported to the police.
“Officers have been working closely with partner agencies for some time in dealing with the associated problems and in forging longer- term solutions.
“The issue can in some sense be a double-edged sword in that those who find themselves involved in prostitution are often vulnerable and require support.
“There will be an increased visible presence of officers from the neighbourhood policing team along Great Northern Street and they will be speaking to those affected and dealing with any issues.
“We would encourage people to speak to their local neighbourhood policing team and enable officers to act upon their concerns.”
The spokesman said businesses could visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/npt for more information.