Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pilot scheme in Ipswich

A pilot scheme is to be launched in Ipswich, for the street workers in response to the murders.

They will also be given an exiting package.

Street workers are to be given bespoke counselling and help to find alternative lifestyles as part of a tough anti-prostitution strategy that is being piloted by the Home Office.

Prostitutes will be told to take part in the programme or risk a harsh regime involving prosecution and Asbos. Officials are also focusing on kerb crawlers who keep the trade afloat; they are being tracked via CCTV and identified from registration plate recognition technology.

All prostitutes will be the subject of a "case conference" so that a strategy can be drawn up which is relevant to their circumstances. Each will be given an "exiting package", or phased programme showing the transition they might make.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The key objective is to challenge the street-based market in the town, focusing on prevention, tackling demand, routes out, and ensuring justice."

But street workers fear the approach could drive women off the streets and into unfamiliar towns or force them to take risks by working alone and unmonitored.

The English Collective of Prostitutes has launched a "safety-first coalition" calling for decriminalisation. "The Ipswich approach will simply drive the prostitution underground," a spokeswoman said.

Quotes from Anti-Prostitution strategy to offer counselling or court, by Diane Taylor and Hugh Muir of the Guardian Newspaper.

It will be interesting to see how successful the counselling is. My understanding of involuntary counselling, is that there is not much behaviour change. The women have few options counselling or court.

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If they refuse to cooperate, they go to Iraq, right?

The case conference idea might not be a bad idea for some of those drug addicted women, as at least they will get some attention to their plight.

I don't know what kind of percentage success rate would be regarded as successful, but it might help some of them.

But you are quite right that those who don't want to be helped won't be helped. And converting from a drug-fuelled life style to a low-paid unskilled job is not alway s easy. I don't suppose there are any government run course streetwalker-courtesan conversion?


Thank you for your comments.

Case conferences will only be good for these women, if they do something.

James, I do not know about streetwalker to courtesan,lol.

However, I know a friend of a friend, who was a streetwalker. She now runs several agencies, and brothels!

She works as an independent, and charges £500 per hour.
Counselling under duress right? All these ladies are interested in is earning money. All the authorities are interested in is damage limitation.
It's good to hear success stories of women who have worked the streets. I've heard a couple myself.

Sadly there are far more sad tales - as you know.

In the article the women said that the support that they had been offered whilst the murders had been taking place had now gone. Why is that? Now they have coersion again.

Most of the streetwalking scene is related to drugs. The answer is to sort out the drugs issue. Causes rather than consequences.

In a different way someone very close to me has been damaged by drugs. But I think that legalisation rather than banning might be the answer.

- Heroin on prescription alongside counselling support? Quality control of substances consumed? Health warnings on the packs?

There are no simple answers but I'm not at all sure the one in the article is the right one.

B xx

Thank you for your comments. You got it in a nutshell.


Thank you for your comments. I do not understand why the support they were offered, needed to be stopped. Probably because of funding as usual.

I do not know what the answer is to the drugs issue.

I hope things improve.
My former wife died of a heroin overdose. (I could not do anything about it, because we were separated so that she could "fulfill her true potential" and she was living with another man at the time who shot her up with the fatal dose. Don't worry, I am safe from any claims of libel, because he committed suicide a few weeks later.)

However, I think anything that can be done to give heroin users an introduction to alternatives is probably a good thing, though I know that the chances of it making a difference may be a long shot.

My stepbrother was also a heroin addict but after two spells of imprisonment, he straightened up his life and is now a solid citizen, married, kids, PTA member, etc.

As Joanne says, it is mainly an exercise in damage control on behalf of the authorities, but sometimes people do decide to change their ways when an interest is shown in them.

I am sorry about your former wife. That sounds awful.

My experience of a minority of drug addicts, is that they feel noone cares about them. I have seen some come off drugs, when offered support.
No need to feel sorry about the missus. Actually it was a mercy, because she was trying to screw a lot of money out of me in a divorce settlement when she accidentally topped herself. This is proof that God exists!
May I ask James what he thinks of methadone? Is it the wonderful alternative or another evil?
If an addict is getting methadone daily from a clinic, then it cuts down on the daily heroin bills--and of course it means that they are in contact with some form of drug addiction service.

The trouble is that addicts tend to want the free stuff, and they want to reduce their heroin usage to the point that they can enjoy it again, like they did before they were addicted, but their commitment to actually kicking the stuff altogether is often lacking.

My wife was not actually a heroin addict. This (long story skipped) was apparently only the second time that she had shot up heroin, apparently under the impression that this was a cool thing to do, especially in combination with Xanax and Flexeril. Duh!

Anyway, it shows how dangerous heroin can be, because like alcohol or any drug, it can impair people's judgment and make them compound the risk.

Where I live supplying another person with an illegal drug that causes their death, or transporting that drug to their home, is classified as first degree murder, but the police are reluctant to pursue such charges unless there is overwhelming evidence, and in most cases witnesses are not willing to testify.
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