Man arrested over 'murder of prostitute in red light area'
A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 21-year-old prostitute in a red light area.
Police said another sex worker found the woman unconscious with serious injuries “consistent with an assault”.
She was taken to hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire Police said the victim was found within a “managed area” where sex is sold within defined hours.
He said: “Clearly a young woman has lost her life in violent circumstances and it is absolutely vital that anyone who saw anything suspicious during the evening and into the early hours contacts us immediately.
“We are treating this woman’s death as murder and a full investigation has been launched.”
He confirmed that a 38-year-old man had been arrested.
The sex worker, who has not been named, was found in the Holbeck area of Leeds and died in the city’s general infirmary a short time after admission.
Mr Atkinson said officers know the woman’s identity but her name is not being released until her family have been informed.
He added: “We can confirm that the victim was a sex worker and the incident has taken place in the managed area where sex workers operate within a defined area during set hours.
“We are therefore appealing to anyone involved in any aspect of sex work in the managed area in Holbeck to let us know anything they have seen or heard that could assist the investigation.”
Superintendent Sam Millar, who heads the city’s community safety partnership Safer Leeds, said: “The managed area has been operating in Holbeck since last year following a partnership agreement between the police, council and other key agencies.
“The aim has been to reduce the impact of sex work on nearby residential communities and provide an environment where sex workers are more likely to engage with third sector agencies who can offer them support, ultimately to exit this activity.
“The area is regularly patrolled by officers and we have seen a large increase in sex workers having the confidence to report offences committed against them to the police.”