Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crackdown on Paying for sex

Jacqui Smith said she expected to see some lapdancing clubs, which have mushroomed in recent years, close and fewer new ones opened under reforms triggered by concerns over a seedy culture of sexual titillation creeping across city centres. She will outline plans this week to criminalise paying for sex with a woman 'controlled for another person's gain'. The new offence will carry a hefty fine and criminal record, which could prevent those caught from getting jobs in sensitive occupations.

The legislation will cover women who have pimps or drug addicts who work to pay off their dealers as well as the rarer cases of trafficked women. This is expected to include the majority of Britain's 80,000 sex workers. Ignorance of a woman's circumstances will not be a defence. Kerb crawlers will be 'named and shamed', while those who pay a prostitute knowing she has been forcibly trafficked could face rape charges.

The measures are highly controversial, with critics arguing that men will seek other outlets if prostitution is driven off the streets. Smith said it was 'not mine or the government's responsibility to ensure that the demand is satisfied', adding: 'Is this something about which people have a choice with respect to their demands? Yes, they do. Basically, if it means fewer people are able to go out and pay for sex I think that would be a good thing.'

Quotes from Paying for sex to be Criminal offence

My understanding of this is that all brothels,parlours, massage parlours, and escort agencies will have to shut down.

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We knew this was coming though.. didn't we?

I think the lady has a vague understanding of the industry, but no real insight into human behaviour, wants and needs. In ridding society of something that does not exactly raise it's head above the parapet, she will be mixing the wheat with the chaff.

I think lapdancing clubs are brothels by any other name, and agree they should be closed down. They make city centres look like red light areas.
Thank you for this Nia - I had missed it. It doesn't seem to have had quite as much publicity as other government pronouncements in this area - which so far have come to nothing.

It looks as if they are serious this time.

However as I read it the law for working women will remain the same. Brothels, parlours and agencies are already illegal if sex is clearly advertised - as the offence of controlling prostitutes is broken.

The difference is that they are trying to stop the demand by criminalising men paying for sex. It is interesting that rather than doing it across the board they are only criminalising it if the woman is "controlled". That makes the usual arguments against such laws much more difficult to make.

Perhaps though independent escorts who can demonstrate they are not "controlled" will be in huge demand. You will be able to increase your prices astronomically Nia!!!

The difficulty of course - for escort and client - is how can an escort demonstrate that she is not controlled?

B xx

Thank you for your comments. I suppose I hadn't realised it would happen so quickly.

I fear that some women will go underground, which will impact on their safety.


Thank you for your comments.Interesting that as Brothels, parlours and agencies are already illegal, that they have allowed some of them to continue to run.

Some agencies clearly advertise the services, that their escorts offer.

You are right, I wonder what criteria they will use, to verify that an independent escort is not controlled.
My friend ran a brothel where it was plainly obvious that the girls were working there of their own free will.

She introduced them to her accountant, and they all paid taxes.
None of them had pimp boyfriends, none of them took drugs, and the agency Genesis, knew all of this and from time to time, asked her to take in the odd girl who needed a safe place to be.

She took no money from the girls other than a small amount to cover expenses. The money she made was at the door. She did not make mega money at all, and yet someone allegedly complained and the place was raided, arrests were made and the place closed down.

She is being prosecuted, and the girls? Well they moved on of course! It was their choice to work there, and it's their choice to carry on working.

You can close down every brothel in the land, but in doing this all you will achieve is to drive the industry underground.

My friend is now working again as an independent, and makes far more money than she ever did when she had the brothel, so the financial gain is a no brainer, and the irony? The girls would all come back to her in a heartbeat.
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