UK P4P News

 2011: Jan-March

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19th March   

Update: 'Support' for Criminalisation of Buying Sex in Scotland...

Trish Godman publishes responses to her biased consultation on the criminalisation of buying sex
Link Here  full story: P4P in Scotland...Criminalising buying sex

Trish Godman The mean minded Scottish MP, Trish Godman, has published a private members bill to criminalise buying sex. She also published a 'consultation' paper with leading questions on how much people agreed with her views.

She has now published a summary of responses:

  1. The intention of the proposed Bill is to criminalise the purchasers of sex and related selling activities. The consultation document accompanying the draft proposal for the Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill was issued on 24 November 2010 and was open for comment until 18 February 2011. A number of late submissions were received after the closing date; these were accepted and have been included in the analysis.
     
  2. The consultation document was made available from a link on the Proposals for Members Bills webpage on the Scottish Parliament Website: The Scottish Parliament: - Bills - Proposals for Members' Bills at www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/bills/membersBills.htm . It was also issued to 146 organisations and individuals with an interest in the issue. Recipients were encouraged to bring the consultation to the attention of anyone else they thought might have an interest in the subject matter.
     
  3. In total 122 responses were received; these were made up of the following groups:

38 individuals
20 anti-violence against women organisations
9 academics
9 equality/human rights organisations
9 health boards
8 local authorities (including the Association of Directors of Social Work)
8 support groups
6 women's business organisations
5 pro-prostitution organisations
4 criminal justice organisations
3 religious organisations
1 child protection group
1 legislator
1 trade union organisation

78 (64%) Responses supported the proposed Bill either in whole or in part.
39 (32%) Against the Bill
5 (4%) Neutral

Consultation Conclusions

The responses to consultation have provided a number of ideas that the member will consider and use to further develop the policy before completing the drafting of the bill.

 

8th March   

Comment: Reprehensible Policing...

British prostitution approach sets up sex workers as target for gang of armed robbers
Link Here  full story: Policing Sex Work...Sex workers put in danger by police

armed robbers A gang of Southampton robbers had planned to exploit sex workers' vulnerability of being unable to call for police assistance lest they get arrested themselves.

Police had unearthed a list of brothels and other potential victims that were to be targeted by the gang. Officers then visited known prostitutes to warn them they were at risk, and of course immediately arrested 2 potential victims for running a brothel.

The pair told officers they rented the flat together to work safely, but from the authorities viewpoint, that made the operation illegal as they were working as a duo.

The operation was revealed as the two women were sentenced at the city's crown court for running a brothel from a Southampton flat. Kim Byrne and Claire Smith worked between 2009 and 2010 by offering themselves for sex from the rented city centre property.

When police raided their St Michael's Street flat they found mobile phones with text messages confirming appointments and prices. Southampton Crown Court heard they were raided after being warned they could be in danger.

Defending Byrne, Peter Asteris told the court the police were aware of the pair, who had helped them in the past and informed them about an under age Eastern European girl working in the sex trade.

Both admitted charges of assisting in the management of a brothel. Recorder Ian Pringle gave Byrne a 12-month supervision order, while Smith was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work.

Comment: Mr Plod's Piggy Bank

8th March 2011. Thanks to Alan

That's two cases you've mentioned in the last month of coppers going after prostitutes in cases of assault or threatened assault on the women. I wonder if the prospect of proceeds of crime is lighting up Mr Plod's piggy little eyes yet again?

As for this unpaid work shite, why don't people call it what they did when it occurred in the Soviet block - slave labour? Why are judges such spineless creeps? This was a case which called out for absolute discharge, no award of costs to the prosecution, and a few sharp words to Mr Plod.

 

5th March   

Update: Miserable Petition Signed by 6000 Scots...

Trish Godman spurred on in her mean minded campaign to criminalise buying sex
Link Here  full story: P4P in Scotland...Criminalising buying sex

trish godman with petition 5851 people have given their backing to the End Prostitution Now Campaign run by Glasgow Community & Safety Services and to a Member's Bill tabled by Labour MSP Trish Godman.

Both are calling for changes in the law to criminalise the buying of sex n flats, saunas and other premises.

Councillor Jim Coleman, Chair of Glasgow Community & Safety Services, presented the petition to Godman.

The proposed changes seek to introduce legislation to make it a criminal offence to purchase sex. It would also make it illegal to facilitate the sale of sexual services for example, by advertising in newspapers, on the internet or by allowing premises to be used for such purposes.

Godman said:

It is my firmly held belief that male demand fuels prostitution in Scotland and only by criminalising that demand can we call time on this harmful activity. The number of signatories on the End Prostitution Now petition shows clearly that this is a widely held view.

The response to the petition reinforces the favourable feedback I have already received while consulting on my Member's Bill. The consultation has now closed and this show of support is vital in progressing my proposals to the next stage.

 

4th March   

Police Shackled to a Miserable Morality...

Miserable police raid BDSM fun in a Dartmoor cottage
Link Here

cadleigh devon A police raid on a Dartmoor cottage, suspected of being a brothel, resulted in the discovery of a sex dungeon.

Police found whips, masks, spanking paddles, handcuffs, a straitjacket and Nazi uniform at the cottage on the edge of Dartmoor after villagers complained about the number of people visiting the property.

Police from the Tactical Aid Group seized hundreds of items, including wooden bats, shackles, chairs with straps and sex toys from the cottage and dismantled what officers described as a sex dungeon.

Det Sgt Stuart Gilroy said the 11 officers involved in the raid were 'shocked' at what they found:

We were surprised to uncover this to say the very least. It's fair to say we were not expecting to find a masochistic dungeon in sleepy Lee Mill. You don't expect to find this sort of thing anywhere

In the dungeon alone we discovered bondage chairs with straps, gimp masks, whips, shackles and various electrical vibrating items. We did not need to make a forced entry because we were invited in by occupants.

We are glad to have disturbed this activity and restored normality to the neighbourhood. We would also like to thank residents who reported the activity to us.

Stuart Somers has admitted running the brothel from his home in Lee Mill, Devon. The case was adjourned at Plymouth Crown Court and Somers will be sentenced next month.

 

13th February   

Diary: A Case Against Reprehensible Policing...

Sex workers put in danger by British policing
Link Here  full story: Policing Sex Work...Sex workers put in danger by police

ecp logo Abuse of Process case against Surrey Police on behalf of Hanna Morris
Monday 21 February
10am Guildford Crown Court

Hanna Morris said:

I would like to thank everyone who gave their support, either in body or spirit, for my court case on 4 February. It is gratefully appreciated. This is a harrowing time for my family and I, but we are strengthened by knowing that people's thoughts are with us. The case has been adjourned till 21 February, if anybody would like to attend court you'd be very welcome as we hope to put forward a strong united front.

The case aims to stop the prosecution of Ms Morris who reported a violent attack and now faces charges for brothel-keeping and money laundering.

On 16 September 2009, Ms Morris dialled 999 when two identifiable men, one who appeared to have a sawn-off shot gun up his sleeve, barged into a flat used by her escort agency, threw petrol around and threatened to torch the place. Anxious to protect the women who work for the agency, Ms Morris innocently helped the police investigation.

The abuse of process case is being brought because:

  • The investigation against the dangerous men has been dropped, but Ms Morris is being prosecuted.
  • Ms Morris's gave the police information on the understanding that it was needed to pursue the attackers. Without it, Surrey Police would have no evidence against her.
  • Ms Morris was never at any point cautioned that what she was telling the police would be used as evidence against her.
  • If the judge rules that there has been no abuse of process, Ms Morris will ask the court to exclude evidence obtained from her, from any proceedings against her.

Ms Morris' solicitor Nigel Richardson (Hodge Jones and Allen) wrote to Surrey Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ask for the prosecution to be dropped as it is completely contrary to the stated aims of trying to improve the safety of sex workers and that it is hard to see how a prosecution in this case can do anything but . . . make would-be attackers more confident in their actions and increase the dangers for working women. . . the prosecution of this offence is likely to directly discourage the reporting of crimes against potentially vulnerable women and thus increase risks to their safety.

Why is Ms Morris being prosecuted for trying to protect women and ensure that violent men are not free to attack others? The Director of Public Prosecutions claims to prioritise women's safety. What does he have to say about this prosecution?

The prominent anti-rape group Women Against Rape comments:

90% of rapists go free. Prosecuting Hannah Morris who tried to bring two violent men to justice is perverse. Rapists and other violent men often target sex workers assuming they cannot call the police. If sex workers are denied the protection of the law, this vulnerability is magnified. The CPS and police should prosecute rapists, not victims.

Is profiteering by police and CPS behind this surge of prosecutions? Hanna Morris is not the only woman who is being prosecuted in this way. The CPS's record is riddled with such injustices. Under Proceeds of Crime law the police keep 50% of assets confiscated during raids and 25% from subsequent prosecutions, with the CPS keeping another 25% and the Inland Revenue the rest. Ms Morris's home and life savings have been frozen pending confiscation if she is found guilty.

English Collective of Prostitutes

020 7482 2496
www.prostitutescollective.net
ecp@prostitutescollective.net

 

10th February   

Updated: Miserable Consultation...

Responses due soon to Trish Godman's proposal to criminalise the purchase of sex in Scotland
Link Here

scot pep logo The deadline for responses to Trish Godman's consultation exercise is 18th February, a week on Friday.

I have reproduced below Scot-PEP's draft response. Whilst it is not our place to tell you what to write in your own response, we thought it would be useful to let you know our own thinking. If you would like to discuss it in more detail, please feel free to contact me/us.

To Trish Godman MSP
Q2.08a
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP

Dear Ms Godman, We are writing in regard to your consultation document Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill . We have read the document with interest and would like to respond to the specific questions that you have raised. We would like to state that at this point that we are an organisation and we wish that the contents of this letter is fully made public and is included in any summary or statistical analysis.

  1. We do not favour the criminalisation of either party to an activity that is private and consensual.
  2. We think it simplistic to assume a direct correlation between punishment and the extent of purchase and sale.
  3. In a recession, with the pressures on public spending, we do not believe that the public would think it a priority or, indeed, appropriate.
  4. We find this difficult to answer, as the range of advertisement is so wide. However, I do not believe it to be a priority as some advertising companies already operates censorship.
  5. We would refer you to 3. Above.
  6. See 4 above.
  7. We believe that this would lead to a substantial loss to the local economy, a reduction in tax revenue and an increase in such costs as re-training.
  8. Yes.

We look forward to the analysis of your consultation process and would like to be informed when it is concluded.

Note: The 'consultation' questions are:

  1. Which option do you favour? Please explain the reasons for your choice.
    Option 1 is to criminalise both the seller and the purchaser;
    Option 2 is to criminalise only the purchaser.
  2. What penalties would have a deterrent effect for the purchaser/seller
  3. What are the barriers to policing and enforcing a prohibition on advertising?
  4. What penalties are appropriate for those who advertise brothels or prostitution, bearing in mind these may range from individuals such as prostitutes to organised crime gang members?
  5. What are there barriers to policing and enforcing this aspect of the proposal?
  6. What penalties are appropriate for those that facilitate prostitution, bearing in mind these might be individuals such as prostitutes or organised crime gang members?
  7. What other costs might arise as a consequence of this proposal?
  8. Are there any equality issues that arise from this proposal?

Update: Sexual Freedom Coalition

10th February 2011. From sfc.org.uk

sexual freedom coalition logo By Dr Tuppy Owens:

Here are the questions, with my answers. You can make up your own answers but whatever you do, please send your response today. Make it clear as to whether you are responding as an individual or on behalf of an organisation. Send to trish.godman.msp@scottish.parliament.uk . Responses will be made public and you need to indicate otherwise or grant your consent. Or parts of your response can remain confidential. You need to give both your name and address.

Question 1: Which option do you favour? Please explain the reasons for your choice.

We do not favour any of your options. A professional consultation paper invites criticism and arguments rather than inviting views on which parts of your ideas are less acceptable. Sex work has always flourished and always will. The economy of Scotland depends on it. Without sex workers, foreign companies will not invest here. Sex work is virtually impossible to stop, and if you tried to stop it, the cost would be astronomic (trawling through adverts in National newspapers and websites, raiding every hotel, short-rent flats and all residences in Scotland). We favour the decriminalisation of sex work.

Question 2: What penalties would have a deterrent effect for the purchaser/seller?

The criminalisation of buying sex has not stopped it in Sweden, just forced the trade underground. It is not possible to criminalise clients who see sex workers in private and in secret. Criminalising clients is also discriminatory towards disabled people, on many levels.

Question 3: What are the barriers to policing and enforcing a prohibition on advertising?

Scotland has national papers on sale and national websites on view so it would be impossible to stop the advertising.

Question 4: What penalties are appropriate for those who advertise brothels or prostitution, bearing in mind these may range from individuals such as prostitutes to organised crime gang members?

How can the publishers of adverts be prosecuted when they live in England and other countries? We object to the way prostitutes are talked about in the same way as crime gang members. Most sex workers are independent men and women who are skilled at their work and work hard and responsibly. They are not criminals nor do they rob or otherwise cheat the public or their clients.

Question 5: What are there barriers to policing and enforcing this aspect of the proposal?

  1. Public opinion. Most people think that sex work should be decriminalised
  2. Money. It would require a huge full-time force and still not be able to stop people buying and selling sex. The danger is that criminalisation would force sex work underground and put both sex workers and clients in danger.
  3. The Disability Discrimination Act. It would discriminate against clients with disabilities.
  4. The determination of sex workers. They are specialists who wish to continue in their own speciality and it's doubtful they will not stop just because of such a law change, because they will no longer respect the law. They will just be more secretive and have to take more precautions, being more vulnerable as they will no longer be able to call the police when, for example, in danger of rape or murder.

Question 6: What penalties are appropriate for those that facilitate prostitution, bearing in mind these might be individuals such as prostitutes or organised crime gang members?

You could get rid of the criminal element by decriminalising sex work and brothel so that the businesses are run above board, like any other legitimate business

Question 7: What other costs might arise as a consequence of this proposal?

The costs of locking sex workers and clients in prison or other treatment centres. Dealing with street protests, demonstrations and direct action. Court cases. People of high profile being sacked. Clients needing antidepressants and therapy because their sexual outlets will be denied them. Some will commit suicide. Tourists will be deterred from coming to Scotland. International events such as conferences and sports events will not be held Scotland because there would be no brothels or provision of sex work. Businesses will move away. The reputation of Scotland will sink internationally, such as that of Sweden for being a dour and dismal place to set up business or visit.

Question 8: Are there any equality issues that arise from this proposal?

Both male and female sex workers are discriminated against in your proposal. People who pay for sex are discriminated against. The freedom of Scottish people is violated. Disabled people are also discriminated against. Disabled people hire sex workers for a large number of reasons (see 50 Ways Sex Workers help Disabled People on www.tlc-trust.org.uk

Dr Tuppy Owens on behalf of the TLC Trust

I give permission for my name and reply to be published.

 

7th February   

Nutters are Never Happy...

Police report very little kerb crawling in Wales
Link Here

bethan jenkins Only two people in the past two years have been arrested in Wales for trawling the streets for prostitutes, a Wales on Sunday investigation has revealed.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act from each police force in Wales revealed two arrests, one in Newport and one in Cardiff.

But a low level of street prostitution somehow doesn't seem to keep the nutter campaigners happy. They claim the figures show a lack of police effort.

The Mean minded South Wales West AM, Bethan Jenkins, said the figures were very worrying :

My concern is that the police are legitimising prostitution by not targeting the men that use prostitutes.

There are areas of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport where citizens know what is happening with on-street prostitution and where the brothels are. These places could have been targeted, but the arrests are not happening there either. We know the police forces are having their resources cut, but it doesn't send a good signal if you aren't treating it as a crime.

But Sarah Walker from the support network English Prostitutes' Collective welcomed the figures, saying that targeting kerb crawlers actually made women less safe, and called for the wholesale decriminalisation of prostitution. She said:

We cannot tell from the figures whether there are fewer arrests because there are fewer clients or because prostitute women have been forced into more isolated and dangerous areas.

The lessons from [murders of prostitutes in] Bradford and Ipswich are that sex workers, 70% of whom are mothers, need help with housing, debt, poverty and drug use to get off the street.

Police crackdowns targeting kerb crawlers just make women less safe. If the prostitution laws were repealed -- like they've done in New Zealand -- it would allow women to work in groups or from premises, which is much safer.

The police forces insisted the latest figures showed the problem was not widespread.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed- Powys Police said that overt street prostitution does not occur and there was no intelligence to suggest it might be, while Gwent Police said it had not identified issues with kerb crawling.

Detective chief inspector Jane MacKay of South Wales Police's Public Protection Team said: We act on any information which suggests that kerb crawling offences are being committed and use this to tackle the whole issue of prostitution and its related problems, not just what is commonly called kerb crawling.

 

6th February   

Poppycock...

Poppy, whingeing about a budget cut, call for another blitz on brothels, even though the last one didn't find any traffickers to convict
Link Here

budget cuts Abigail Stepnitz, national co-ordinator for the anti-prostitution campaign, Poppy Project, said police should urgently target the brothels masquerading as saunas, massage parlours and private flats. Almost 6,000 have been identified in England and Wales.

Stepnitz said: The focus on trafficking has been to remove immigration offenders or to prosecute organised criminal networks. From our experience the focus has not neccessarily been on addressing the presence of brothels that create an environment where trafficking can thrive. That has never been the focus.

The last major crackdown, Operation Pentameter 2 in 2008, saw 822 premises visited and the arrest of more than 528 individuals. [Not mentioning that none of these were convicted for trafficking].

Maybe the Poppy Project needs to find a few more cases of trafficking to avoid being scaled down. The Government has put its contract out for tender, asking for a less specialist service to be provided at 60% of the cost.

Fears are growing among campaigners that ministers appear intent on downgrading trafficking as a priority. Tomorrow, trafficking campaigners are due to attend the Home Office for a 90-minute consultation on a proposed new trafficking strategy.

On Wednesday, the government is expected to come under further attack from health experts and MPs at a conference focusing on trafficking issues, entitled Stopping Traffick. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will condemn the government's decision not to sign up to the EU Directive on Human Trafficking.

 

23rd January   

Poppycock...

Challenging the paper correlating sexual assault in Camden with lap dancing
Link Here

confidence intervalThe impact of adult entertainment on rape statistics in Camden: a re-analysis. by Brooke L Magnanti, PhD.

Abstract

A 2003 report [by the anti-prostitution campaigners of Lilith] on the impact of lap-dancing clubs on sexual assault in Camden, London had significant influence on the perception of the contribution of adult entertainment to crime statistics. In spite of mathematical corrections to the statistics in the report, its original conclusions are still widely reported in both academic and mass media.

This paper presents a broader analysis of the impact of lap-dancing clubs by calculating accurate rates of incidence, analysing statistics from a longer time period, and comparing the results with crime rates in neighbouring boroughs of London. The rate of rape in Camden is lower than that in comparable boroughs, including ones with no such clubs. The overall trend for London boroughs, while higher than the national average, shows a decrease where national statistics are on the increase

Melon Farmers Comment

It is of course good to see the Lilith nonsense challenged, but it seems a pity that it takes pseudo science to demonstrate the bleedin' obvious.

Does anyone intuitively think, given a massively changing society, that anyone can correlate anything significant to a tiny percentage of the male population visiting lap dancing clubs. Surely this pails into insignificance compared with say demographic changes such as ageing populations, declining religion, cultural changes dues to European and South Asian immigration, economic changes, policing changes with the advent of CCTV, DNA, database surveillance, massively increased impact of the internet (with enough influence to decimate other branches of the adult industry), changes to patterns of alcohol consumption, declining influence of tobacco, and of course the certification of video nasties...the list is endless...

What are the chances that 'any' effects of a couple of lap dancing venues can be mathematically extracted from this fog of major societal influences?

I would guess somewhere in the ballpark of 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001%

 

18th January   

The Shocking Truth...

ITV News/Daily Mail story about trafficked 14 year old sex slaves revealed as bollox
Link Here

Daily Mail: The Shocking Truth Fake teen on trial over lies to newspaper

The Romanian prostitute now 28 who claimed to be 14 so she could feature in a four-page investigation in the Daily Mail into under-age prostitution has gone on trial after a three-year investigation.

The special report by Chris Rogers also ran on ITV's News at 10 and on CNN in 2008, as well as in the Daily Mail.

It detailed how the journalists had managed to buy a 14-year-old from sex slave traders at a petrol station in Iasi, a town in north eastern Romania.

But Romanian officials incensed at the claims that the country had a flourishing trade in under age prostitutes investigated, and discovered that the alleged teenager was in fact Monica Ghinga, then 25, who had been working as a prostitute since 2006.

The indictment charging her with prostitution used the clips from the report to prove that she worked on the streets charging clients sums from 12 to 25 euros.

Iasi police spokesman Madalin Soranu said: We opened the investigation because we wanted to see if it was really human trafficking. She has been charged with prostitution as a result of this case.

 

17th January   

Unsafe Policing...

British authorities inflict unsafe conditions on sex workers and then seek to patch over their own failings with ever nastier measures
Link Here

alison roseA chief superintendent at West Yorkshire Police has called for a DNA database of men who use prostitutes.

Ch Supt Alison Rose, who works in Bradford South, said if DNA was taken men might think again about committing crimes against women.

Rose claimed: I think there's a real gap in the law around taking DNA from men that use women for sex. If you know that in paying a woman for sex, your DNA was going to be taken you might think again.

But Guy Herbert, from the No2ID campaign, said: This is a diversion of police resources from doing something sensible about the real problem.

Update: Limited to those charged with kerb crawling

10th January 2011. See  article from  theregister.co.uk by Jane Fae Ozimek

West Yorkshire subsequently clarified Rose's position. A spokesman told the Register: She is referring to taking the DNA of those who are charged with kerb crawling offences. If they are subsequently found not guilty, they would obviously be removed from any database. This is a call for a change in the current legislation.

In further clarification, West Yorkshire explained that Rose would also like to see the release of images of men convicted of kerb crawling.

 



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