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More than women and almost 40 men are advertising sex for money in Plymouth via a controversial website dubbed the "Gumtree of prostitution". Members of AdultWork. In total, women and 38 men are listed on the website advertising a range of 'services'.


Millbay is being regenerated, sex work is making use of new technology and lockdown woes have all had an effect on the oldest profession. The First World War saw British soldiers handed pamphlets warning them of the risks of venereal disease if they chose to partake of ladies of the night, although historians have noted that the pitiful pay of British infantry soldiers — around 10 francs a week - meant that even the cheapest French prostitutes — who charged two to three Francs a session — were an unaffordable luxury.

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Before the First World War, prostitutes had been allowed to solicit openly in Britain, but only in was it made a crime, under the Defence of the Realm Act, for them to approach men in uniform. Inthe government attempted further regulation, forbidding women with VD from having sexual intercourse with any soldier and giving the police powers to medically examine suspected prostitutes.

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Bumboats were small vessels that brought fresh vegetables, supplies and, most notoriously, prostitutes and drink to the warships. In port, most ships' captains allowed prostitutes onboard, and the men were in any case already issued with large quantities of drink - the standard allowance was a gallon of beer a man per day.

However, prostitutes were not restricted to uniformed men and as such laws have been changed over the years to similarly target the civilian punters. The Sexual Offences Act included sections making brothel-keeping an offence. The film, which can be viewed the BFI website hereincludes not just folks enjoying a striptease act but also an interview with a young prostitute who explains how she came to find herself on Millbay Road, how much she charges and Plymouth sex contact kind of men she meets.

As such, men became more the target and the Sexual Offences Act created the two new offences of kerb crawling and persistently soliciting women for the purposes of prostitution. The man was cautioned, the woman arrested and charged. Later that same month Plymouth Herald quoted Sgt Steve Hopper, of the St Peter's ward team, who said: "We are providing high-profile policing that discourages the problem of vice.

Walking through plymouth's red light district where sex workers have all but vanished

We never aim to drive the girls off the streets. It is a matter of reducing street prostitution by providing increased policing, a safe environment for the girls and a controlled environment for people living in the area. Shortly before the end of police revealed that some of the estimated prostitutes who worked the district had claimed that some girls as young as 14 were selling their bodies for sex — to make extra cash for Christmas. In April two years later police launched another crackdown using cameras to film persistent kerb-crawlers approaching prostitutes in the Millbay area.

Ten men — most of whom were married — were given police warnings when they were pulled over and their details taken. If they cannot get it, but see an innocent girl walking down the road, well, we keep down the rapes and attacks on women. Her prescient opinion was legalising prostitution and setting up safe houses was not the answer, claiming that working women should be given one street, away from residential homes, to ply their trade.

In May the authorities took a different course of action, with proposals to block off Stonehouse Street with bollards as part of a six month trial in a bid to sever a loop used by men constantly on the prowl for sex in the red light district.

The proposal was welcomed by local residents the Millbay area.

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One councillor who lived in Millbay told Plymouth Herald he backed the idea because he had been propositioned by prostitutes in the past and his daughter had been Plymouth sex contact by kerb-crawlers. However, the proposal was later put on hold after objections from local business people with one saying he risked losing passing trade. This resulted in some residents demanding action with one Millbay woman saying: "I live and work in Stonehouse and I am sick to death with being constantly harassed and accosted on my way along Stonehouse Street to and from work.

What do we have to do — wear sandwich boards saying we are not prostitutes? Residents cheered the arrival of CCTV cameras in Millbay Road and Emma Place inclaiming it would cut down on kerb crawlers fearful of having their plates recorded. It also aimed to protect the working girls, after a study in November had found that nearly every one of them had suffered violent assault or abuse while on the streets. Incidents ranged from being pushed to being held captive in a flat and raped. And police have heard that another man threatened a vice girl by saying he would inject her with dangerous drugs.

Pc Siddall spent four nights on the streets talking to 25 prostitutes, ranging in age from their teens to their late fifties. The research was carried out in the wake of the sickening case of Christopher Lunt. In AprilLunt was jailed for five years at Plymouth Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm: he had viciously attacked a prostitute in an alley in Millbay and attempted to strangle her.

He was jailed for life the following year having been found guilty for 11 offences, including two rapes, four indecent assaults and four false imprisonments. Working girls continued to Plymouth sex contact dangerous punters and in July Plymouth Herald reported the frightening case of a young woman who had begun working as a prostitute following her waitressing shift to pay off debts.

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She was approached by Mehmet Ali Serter in George Place who asked her if she was looking for business. The jury at Plymouth Crown Court heard how he had grabbed her as she tried to leave, spun her around and pulled out a inch kitchen knife, threatening to rape her. The girl eventually jumped from the balcony of the first floor to escape. Serter was jailed for 30 months.

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Some younger women are attached to young male gangs, looked after by young, aggressive males. In Plymouth Herald reported that police were planning to drive prostitution off the streets, claiming there were around 60 women working the Plymouth sex contact.

The emphasis is on making the offence — and the offender — more public. Pc May explained that while the image of the punter may be that of a dirty old man, in actuality the team encountered the full range of men - businessmen, fathers, married men, farmers from the countryside, sportsmen, locals and out-of-towners. He was particularly keen to point out that the registered keeper may not have been the driver written about. In addition, the team ensured letters were also sent to companies which then carried out internal investigations. It works best with two working girls.

It can depend on how drunk the man is. The report also highlighted how one of the women he spotted that night had not been seen on the patch for a of years and was believed to be a grandmother now.

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A man from 'deepest'' Cornwall was found at 1am in the red light area of Plymouth. He claimed he was in the area to go to Plymouth sex contact KFC, despite passing several other such eateries to get to Millbay. Punter found in his car, in a cul-de-sac with a known working girl in the passenger seat. He claimed she was a 'family friend' for five years, but when pressed could not recall her name.

PCSO Jules Greer suggested they phone the man's wife, describe the woman next to him and see if she recalled her name. He declined the suggestion. A punter seen back in the area after picking up a working girl was confronted by officers. He claimed he had done nothing wrong, and had merely taken the girl back to his hotel room where they watched an episode of Friends. However, new legislation meant that for those women who refused to engage with programmes to help them, magistrates could use both fines and even Antisocial Behaviour Orders banning them from areas, with breaches of the order putting them at risk of jail.

The carrot and stick approach hoped to encourage the women to take the offer of help which included drug rehab, benefit assistance and advice on loan-shark avoidance. Some have relatively stable backgrounds and make it a lifestyle choice.

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They see it as good money, without tax and a victimless crime. They become psychologically hardened to it and find it difficult to quit. The following February, in Pc May was again ed by Plymouth Herald for a patrol, highlighting how the shift from enforcement to encouragement was still the main policy for police.

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He noted how social networking sites, the internet and mobile phones had changed the landscape, but not the industry. He said: "There are sites which let the punters know where the girls, or boys, are.

They can meet up, all pre-arranged, at locations away from the public and police's gaze. Plymouth police were often accused of harassing sex workers by these patrols, but then, as now, they insist it was as much to do with safeguarding the vulnerable. Along with the cases of Christopher Lunt, James Aird Walker and Mehmet Ali Serter can be added that of Balen Wosou, a year-old asylum seeker who in March was jailed for eight years for the rape and robbery of a prostitute red-light district. In September Fabian Thomas was jailed for five years — with a warning he would not Plymouth sex contact released until he was deemed to no longer be a danger to the public.

Having only been released from prison five months before the attack in February that year - for the rape of a year-old girl he had threatened to kill — he boasted online from the comfort of his bail hostel that he was going to go out and rape a woman.

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He then headed towards Union Street where he put on a balaclava, confronted a teenage working girl, forced her to the ground and held a knife to her throat while forcing his hand down the front of her trousers. She struggled free grabbing the knife, cutting her hand and thumb. He was arrested 24 hours later — in Oxford. A neighbourhood inspector told PlymouthLive that the issue of safeguarding was a constant for police, as was encouraging working girls to reconsider their life choices and seek help on offer.

However, like with many criminal offences, developing technology has played a key role in changing the environment.

As police had ly noted, apps and social media have made it easier and easier for people offering services or wanting to buy services to connect. Meetings can be arranged at discreet locations, payments can even be made electronically. Why stand around in the cold, waiting hours, risking arrest and prying eyes when it can all be done from your mobile phone. The inspector noted that the business itself had diversified — webcam girls performing for clients in the safety of their own bedrooms, charging bitcoin or using Paypal, pop-up brothels or even social media marketplaces where women will use code to advertise Plymouth sex contact while secondhand car dealers and home-based cake-makers sell their goodies.

The inspector added that the regeneration of Millbay — including luxury apartments, a new school, retirement flats, the development of Royal William Yard, the restoration of of Edwardian and Georgian homes around the area - have all played a part in making the patch attract more traffic and more eyes, causing the remaining girls to reduce the focus their workspace to the commercial Stonehouse Street. Finally, this year has made the business particularly problematic — how do you work the red-light district when you are not allowed to leave the house?

How do you go looking for girls when your car is the only one on the road? Undoubtedly, police have had other crimes to deal with — but according to sources in Plymouth police, Millbay residents have not called them up with a slew complaints about working girls and kerb crawlers despite having much more time to twitch at the curtains. Stonehouse Street has definitely seen a reduction in the of working girls over the past three decades according to one business which as been established in the area throughout that time.

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This service is also available to families, friends or anyone who needs advice around alcohol or drug use. If you or someone you know needs urgent help outside of office hours, call for NHS medical advice, or if you are in mental distress call the Samaritans on Rehab 4 Addiction offers drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation services in Plymouth. This service is offered on an inpatient basis, meaning you live within a Plymouth rehab centre whilst you receive medical assistance throughout your stay.

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Members of our community have the right to be free from sexual violence in all forms.


Domestic abuse is when a family member or someone you're in a couple relationship with treats you in a way that harms you physically, emotionally or sexually.