Sex worker on what life is like living in UK red light district s***hole

A sex worker on Bradford's Sunbridge Road opened up about what life is like in the notorious red light zone.

Louise, 32, believes the area has gone downhill in recent years and says she has even had to live in abandoned buildings, YorkshireLive reports.

"It's a s***hole," she said.

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"I have lived in abandoned buildings. At the moment I am living in a hostel on Manningham Lane.

"Sunbridge Road has turned bad since the Provident building was turned into flats. It has destroyed the whole area.

"They have got all the lowlifes and stuck them in one building. They put vulnerable people with no support in the red light district. Three of my friends killed themselves – that's how depressing it is around here."

Sex workers in the area don't have it easy.

From 5am in the morning they can be seen out and about working and have regular fights over money, according to another resident of the area, former plumber Deane.

"They stand on that corner," he said. "Every day is something going on. They are always about."

"You see [sex workers] all fighting over money. They say 'you owe me a rock' (drugs)," he added.

Deane, 38, is desperate to move away from Sunbridge Road after six years living in the Provident tower block in the area.

However he has serious health problems including a heart condition, meaning he can't work and is on "lifetime sick", limiting his choice in where he gets to live.

"I was wanting to get out of here. But because I have somewhere stable to live they [the housing authorities] won't change me [to another flat]."

He says antisocial behaviour happens constantly.

Living in the tower block is far from easy, he says, mainly because of the noise. "A lot of people turn to drink to get to sleep. You see drug dealers parking up willy-nilly. Around here, you see everything," he said.

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He added: "Two weeks ago it was cordoned off with blood everywhere. About two years ago I saw someone getting stabbed outside here."

Deane says that the management of his tower block has been taking action to evict problem tenants. Some were chronic alcoholics and/or drug addicts, he says.

The problem, he says, is that some flats are taken up by working people and students and this creates tensions.

"Living here stresses you out," he says.

He cannot think of anything positive to say about life on Sunbridge Road.

Deane and other tenants have complained that the block has more than its fair share of problem tenants.

"It's not fair on the decent people. I am not saying (these others) are not decent people but when they are shouting and screaming…"

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said flats were plagued by visitors who "don't even live here."

"There are some proper crackheads who come in the building and boot the doors off. The sex trade is all day long. You will see all the ladies and the junkies outside. Half of them don't even live here."

Dr Jude Merzah, director of Legacy & Equity Group, who manage the building as of August 2021 the building, said safety and security improvements had been made over recent months.

A government grant has been secured to improve the flats and building.

He said that police officers used to be called to incidents at the block multiple times a day but this had been reduced to 'one a month or fewer.'

Extra security had been hired, smoke alarms fitted and asbestos cleared.

He said management was trying to remain as diplomatic as possible with tenants and want to help the vulnerable.

"We have students and professionals (moving in). Sixty people have moved in in the last two months."


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