Complaint Against the Victoria Derbyshire TV Show

On 12 April 2016, the BBC2 programme, the Victoria Derbyshire show covered the “managed sex work area” in Leeds. We thought the programme was biased. Here is our letter of complaint. If you would also like to complain, feel free to copy and paste from our letter. You can submit complaints on the BBC website.

I am writing on behalf of Nordic Model Now! to express dismay at the coverage of the “managed sex work area” in Leeds. The reporting was biased, did not give any coverage of the alternative policy (the Nordic Model) and promoted full decriminalisation of prostitution as the best solution. This is despite the fact that the woman interviewed repeatedly stated that it was impossible to make it 100 per cent safe. She referred to her levels of earning being around double the average wage, which made the programme appear like an advertisement for the industry. Countries that have already legalized/decriminalised the sex trade have advertised jobs in the industry as viable employment options for jobless women. Is that what we want to happen here?

The Nordic Model offers full decriminalisation of the prostituted women and instead focuses the criminal responsibility on the demand. We urge you to consider a follow up programme to highlight the (culture of) entitlement by men who claim it’s their right to buy women’s bodies, instead of portraying the stigma as the origins of violence involved. All the women are vulnerable to attack. The anonymous women said she does not want to keep doing it but she has no choice except to be violated many times a day. This sounds like impoverished desperation by not only those addicted to substances due to prior abuse but also migrant women (not dissimilar from trafficked women) forced in to this.

The Basis representative is incorrect in saying there are no pimps. Fiona Broadfoot, a former prostituted women from Leeds who is in the organisation SPACE International is an expert on this issue and might be willing to come on the program. It’s only fair to include the voices of exited women and other advocates of the Nordic Model.

Nordic Model Now! is campaigning for the Nordic Model in the UK. Please visit our website ( to find out about the Nordic Model and how it is cost effective.

One thought on “Complaint Against the Victoria Derbyshire TV Show

  1. I just posted my complaint to the BBC:
    Towards the end of the item it was stated ‘Protection or prosecution is a choice for Leeds’. This is incorrect as it does not include the option of the Nordic Model approach which many non-Nordic countries are now adopting. Northern Ireland and France have recently gone for this, and Scotland has a bill going through parliament at the moment.

    The argument that this is not currently available under English law does not hold water because the option of a ” managed sex work area” is similarly not an option under English law as it allows soliciting which is normally illegal.

    Prostitution is a multi-billion pound industry based on violence against women. The violence and abuse was clearly stated by the woman working in prostitution featured in the programme. The BBC should be extra careful before validating the existence of prostitution as if there were no other alternative when there is.

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