Sunday, September 28, 2008

Total Ban for Sex Soliciting and Curb-Crawling

From the Guardian:

By Nicholas Watt
September 22,2008

Kerb-crawling and soliciting for prostitutes on the streets are to be outlawed as part of a wide-ranging tightening of the law, the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, annnounced yesterday.

Warning of the "blight" of prostitution, Smith outlined a three-point plan at the Labour conference that will:

· Remove the requirement that only persistent kerb crawlers and men who solicit on the street can be prosecuted. An alternative requirement for kerb-crawlers - that they act "in a manner that is likely to cause annoyance to people in the neighbourhood" - is also to be removed. The changes will mean that kerb-crawlers and men soliciting sex on the street can be prosecuted after a first offence.

· Give new powers to councils and the police to close down brothels for at least three months if prostitutes are being run by a pimp or have been trafficked. At the moment, police can only close brothels if there is anti-social behaviour and if Class-A drugs are involved.

· Change the law so that men can be prosecuted if they pay for sex with women who are exploited - "controlled for another person's gain", as Smith said. Currently, police can only pursue a prosecution if they can prove that the women did not consent to sex, which means they have to compile evidence of rape.

The home secretary also announced that communities will be given more say in lap-dancing clubs opening in their areas. Smith criticised the Tories for sending delegates to their conference in Birmingham next week a £10 voucher to visit such a club. "I want to know what the Tories have to say for themselves," she said.

Smith announced the new measures on prostitution after a six-month government review into prostitution that focused on how Sweden and the Netherlands deal with the problem.

Read the full article

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