The desperate situation of many sex workers has been revealed after a prostitute in Hull gave birth and went back to work in a notorious red light district just half an hour later.
The prostitute is said to work in Hull's Hessle Road, where around 40 women are working at various times, according to the local Police Community Support Officer Jacqui Fairbanks.
Fairbanks has been helping Hessle Road's sex workers for around ten years and said that many of them suffer from mental health problems after being physically or sexually abused in the past
Other problems faced by the women include trafficking and coercion from partners or being forced to sleep on sofas because they are homeless, the officer explained.
"One woman had a baby and, within half an hour, was back out on the streets. That's how desperate some of these women are," Fairbanks told the Hull Daily Mail.
"This isn't Pretty Woman, I'm afraid. Some rich punter isn't going to come along and sweep these women off their feet and live happily ever after.
"Our problem is that these women will not come and deal with us. Their self-esteem is so low that they enjoy the attention they receive and that is really sad."
According to PCSO Fairbanks, the sex workers range in age between their late 20s and early 30s to a few women who are in their sixties.
While Fairbanks said that thankfully there are no young girls on the streets in Hull, the age of the men hiring the sex workers ranges from 17 or 18, all the way up to 80-year-old OAPs.
"They are all from different backgrounds and cultures," Fairbanks said. "There are those who are very affluent and those who are unemployed."
PCSO Fairbanks has slammed the lack of public sympathy for prostitutes, many of whom rely on sex work as their only source of income rather than claiming benefits.
"At the end of the day these women are somebody's daughter," Fairbanks said. "I try to tell them they are better than this. But all we can do is offer them the help through the different agencies."
The police work with many other agencies locally and have successfully managed to reduce the level of violence the women face.
Fairbanks said that it has been around a decade since a sex worker was last killed in the Hull area.
"There will always be dodgy pimps and violent boyfriends but, otherwise, the women are quick to tell us if they have been victims of violence," she said. "We have a better rapport."
In 2014 the area introduced 'section 222' orders meaning that prostitutes and kerb crawlers face arrest by loitering, soliciting or having sex.
Police have engaged with 26 kerb crawlers in the past three months, with 16 section 222 orders handed out. Meanwhile, police have engaged with 42 sex workers, handing out 33 section 222 orders.
The orders have been breached by sex workers 32 times, often by the same person several times. The long-term plan is to put kerb crawlers and sex workers on courses rather than criminalise them.
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