NORTH Yorkshire has a hidden sex trade operating online, its police force has warned, as it encourages sex workers to tell them if they are stalked, robbed or assaulted.
Unlike many other large towns and cities in the UK, there are not any obvious ‘red light’ districts within North Yorkshire, a spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said.
However, every day, local, migrant and transient sex workers work across the county via the internet from residential addresses, hotel rooms and holiday apartments.
Sex workers are at an increased risk of a range of crimes including sexual and physical violence, harassment, stalking and coercion, and North Yorkshire Police has now started a new campaign urging them to report offenders.
Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, of North Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Unit said: “Whether you have been harassed, received malicious communications, been the victim of stalking, robbery, physical or sexual violence, we take all crimes seriously and we will respect your right to confidentiality.”
As the law stands, while selling or buying sex is not illegal among adults, unless coerced, activities such as soliciting and kerb-crawling are still criminalised.