Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition
Your Tax Dollars Are Being Wasted Ruining Citizens Lives
Instead of fighting real crime

Decriminalize Private Consenting Adult sexwork, not public nuisance street hookers

New crackdown on street prostitution
U.K. Plan for licensed 'red light' zones ditched in favour of zero-tolerance strategy

December 28, 2005

(Dave notes, as in most of the world except the U.S., outcall prostitution has always been legal in the U. K., but incalls are limited to one gal in a flat. The issue here as in most of the world is public nuisance street hookers - yet the major sexwork organizations continue to fight their lost cause for street hookers instead of respecting the public not to have it in their face and supporting liberalizing the laws for private consenting adult sexworkers, not street hookers.)

The government will announce plans next month for a national zero tolerance campaign against kerb crawlers (johns picking up girls on the streets) and street prostitution after shelving plans to introduce licensed "red light" zones, the Guardian has learned. The proposals are expected to form a key part of the next phase of Tony Blair's drive against antisocial behaviour. Kerb crawlers will risk having their driving licences confiscated and being named and shamed in local newspapers.

The Home Office minister Fiona Mactaggart told the Guardian that it was wrong to regard those involved in prostitution as sex workers. She said tough measures were needed to tackle the markets for prostitution. "I'm not tolerant of the view that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world and there's nothing we can do to reduce it," she said. "Prostitution blights communities. We will take a zero tolerance approach to kerb crawling. Men who choose to use (street) prostitutes are indirectly supporting drug dealers and abusers. The power to confiscate driving licences already exists. We want the police to use that power more."

The police are expected to be encouraged to set up safe houses and other schemes to help the women involved get out of the trade. Greater efforts will also be made to close brothels masquerading as massage parlours and saunas. Ministers are expected to rule out overhauling the 50-year-old prostitution laws, a decision that spells the end for plans floated by the previous home secretary, David Blunkett, 18 months ago to give local authorities discretion to set up tolerance zones, small licensed brothels and a register of prostitutes.

Cities such as Liverpool have been pressing hard to be given the power to set up these legal zones. Ms Mactaggart, however, said effective policing rather than an overhaul of the laws was the answer.

The Home Office estimates 80,000 people are involved in the vice trade and 95% of those working on the streets are using heroin or crack. However, the number of women cautioned for soliciting fell from 3,323 in 1993 to 732 in 2000. Middlesbrough is responsible for 25% of all national convictions for kerb crawling, and ministers want to see its zero tolerance campaign replicated.  "Prostitution has been allowed to slip off the agenda somewhat. I want to ensure our good work on trafficking is joined-up with a prostitution strategy that helps women out of prostitution but also deals with the demand for prostitutes," Ms Mactaggart said.

Update 12/29/05 Sheffield Today Newspaper

Police have the power to confiscate driving licences from kerbcrawlers and the Government wants officers to use that power even more. Inspector Shaun Morley, of Sheffield's City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, said Sheffield and Doncaster already had a tough "three strikes and you're out" policy on driving licences.

"On the first offence, a kerb-crawler will receive an acceptable behaviour contract drawn up between them and the police where they are asked to make a pledge to stop," he said.

"If they re-offend we ask for an anti-social behaviour order to ban them from kerb crawling. "If they offend a third time, we ask magistrates to take away their licence "We believe this is a very fair process."  The Government wants police to set up safe houses and other schemes to help women get out of the trade. Insp Morley said: "We already work very closely with voluntary agencies to provide support to young women and we do take every opportunity to dissuade or help them out of prostitution.


Eliminating street hooker prostitution laws won't protect prostitutes, won't protect communities, community group warns MPs in Canada where Prostitution is legal but only outcalls and not street hookers, incalls or agencies.  But lots of street hooker groups want street hookers decriminalized.  This takes away from the more important task of liberalizing the position on incalls and agencies which has almost no community opposition.

OTTAWA, March 22, 2005  /CNW Telbec/ - Eliminating laws against prostitution will leave both communities and the most vulnerable women in society at the mercy of johns, the Hintonburg Community Association (HCA) will warn MPs tomorrow in Ottawa.

At a presentation before the House of Commons sub-committee on solicitation laws, the HCA will outline its nearly 15-year battle with street prostitution, and the terrible toll that drugs and prostitution have taken on parts of its community. "Eliminating current prostitution laws won't give women who are ill, homeless and addicted to hard drugs any safer options than they have now. But, removing prostitution laws will give carte blanche to predatory men to roam our streets, and the streets of the many communities across Canada we work with that are in similar situations," says Jeff Leiper, president of the HCA.

The HCA is frustrated that Parliamentarians are considering elimination of prostitution laws without discussion about the real work that needs to be done to make the lives of women safer: identification of children at risk; adequate detox beds; substance abuse programs; supportive housing; and, training and financial assistance to help women escape the violent trap of street prostitution. "Removing laws designed to protect both women and communities from the effects of street prostitution would be an abdication of responsibility by Ottawa without the difficult corresponding work of building a social safety net that provides women with options," Leiper says.

"The measure may make it easy for MPs to congratulate each other for thinking they've solved the problem, but the burden of violence will be downloaded to communities that are stripped of protection, to women who continue to work the streets outside legal systems, and by overstretched municipalities ordered to run unworkable registration schemes."

The HCA will make its presentation to the House committee on March 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Centre Block. For more information about the reality of street prostitution in residential communities, please see Dispelling the Myths at .

The Hintonburg Community Association is a not-for-profit volunteer group that seeks to improve the quality of life in its community. It has over 600 paid members, and is active on issues including security, development, arts and heritage, traffic, beautification, business development, the environment, and special events. 

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