A COUNCILLOR has been investigating how Cheshire West and Chester Council and other organisations are involved with sex workers to ensure they are safe.
The inquiry was carried out by Cllr Pat Merrick (Grange and Rossmore), the deputy leader of the council’s Labour group.
“In light of the tragic murders of prostitutes in Ipswich and Bradford, I was asked by the overview and scrutiny committee to investigate how Cheshire West and its partner agencies work with those who are involved in sex work to ensure they are safe and to support those who wish to change their lives to do so,” said Cllr Merrick.
She said her 10-page report did not seek to make any moral judgments and her focus ‘was on ensuring that some of the most vulnerable people in our society are safe from harm’.
Cllr Merrick mainly looked at those involved in prostitution and was pleased to report the borough did not have a recognised area where prostitutes regularly walk the streets ‘as this is notoriously the most dangerous form of prostitution’.
“While there are a few massage parlours I can find no evidence of coercion or danger,” said Cllr Merrick.
But she added: “I heard some sad individual stories which made me all the more determined to ensure our partner agencies work together to ensure vulnerable people in our area are safe and know where to get help.”