Author Topic: UK laws on street prostitution  (Read 1421 times)

Offline Cherry

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UK laws on street prostitution
« on: July 22, 2015, 11:56:37 PM »
Current legal status[edit]
England and Wales[edit]
Although previous acts still remain in force, the Policing and Crime Act 2009 (together with the Sexual Offences Act 2003) replaced most aspects of previous legislation relating to prostitution. An important change resulting from the 2009 act was the amendment of the laws on soliciting and loitering for the purposes of prostitution. The main differences involve the shifting of focus from the prostitutes to the customers. Before 1 April 2010, it was illegal for a customer to kerb crawl/solicit only if this was done "persistently", or "in a manner likely to cause annoyance". Today, all forms of public solicitation by a customer are illegal, regardless of the manner in which the prostitute was solicited. The act also makes it an offence for someone to pay or promise to pay a prostitute who has been subject to "exploitive conduct". The law now applies to male as well as female prostitutes because the term "common prostitute" has been replaced with "person". Before 1 April 2010, a prostitute was committing a crime by soliciting/loitering in a public place more than once in a period of one month. Today, he/she commits a crime if he/she does it more than once in a period of three months.

Prostitutes[edit]
Street prostitution is illegal. It is an offence to loiter or solicit persistently in a street or public place for the purpose of offering one's services as a prostitute. The term "prostitute" is defined as someone who has offered or provided sexual services to another person in return for a financial arrangement on at least one previous occasion. To demonstrate "persistence" under the current legislation, two police officers must witness the activity and administer a non-statutory prostitute caution. This caution differs from an ordinary police caution in that the behaviour leading to a caution need not itself be evidence of a criminal offence. There is no requirement for a man or woman to admit guilt before being given a prostitutes caution and there is no right of appeal. Working as a prostitute in private is not an offence, and neither is working as an outcall escort. Nor is it illegal for prostitutes to sell sex at a brothel provided they are not involved in management or control of the brothel.[40]

Customers[edit]
Soliciting someone for the purpose of obtaining their sexual services as a prostitute is an offence if the soliciting takes place in a street or public place (whether in a vehicle or not). This is a broader restriction than the 1985 ban on kerb-crawling. It is now also an offence to make or promise payment for the sexual services of a prostitute if the prostitute has been subjected to "exploitative conduct" (force, threats or deception) in order to bring about such an arrangement for gain. This is a strict liability offence (clients can be prosecuted even if they didnít know the prostitute was forced).[39] Additionally there exists an offence of paying for sexual services of a child (anyone under 18).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_the_United_Kingdom


Loitering or Soliciting for Prostitution
Section 16 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 amends section 1(1) of the Street Offences Act 1959 to create an offence for a person (whether male or female) persistently to loiter or solicit in a street or public place for the purposes of offering services as a prostitute, with effect from 1 April 2010. The term "common prostitute" has now been removed.

Section 1(4) has been amended to insert that for the purposes of section 1, conduct is persistent if it takes place on 2 or more occasions in any period of 3 months.

Section 1(5) provides that in deciding whether a person's conduct is persistent, any conduct that took place before the commencement of this section will be disregarded.

To demonstrate "persistence" under the amended legislation, two officers would need to witness the activity and administer the non statutory "prostitutes caution". This caution differs from ordinary police cautions in that the behaviour leading to a caution may not itself be evidence of a criminal offence and there is no requirement for a man or woman to admit guilt before being given a prostitutes caution. Details of these "prostitutes cautions" are recorded at the local police station. Insertion of the word "persistently" provides opportunities for the police to direct that individual to non-criminal justice interventions to help address the issues that may have caused them to enter prostitution and to ultimately find routes out.

The amended offence requires the prosecution to prove that the activity the subject of the charge itself was persistent; therefore there is a need to particularise when and where that persistent activity took place. Thus, once conduct has already been included within the scope of one prosecution that same conduct cannot be included in the scope of a later prosecution. Further, once an offender's cumulative conduct is met by a finding of guilt in a criminal court, to that extent there is a wiping clean of the slate. Therefore, a caution or conditional caution will wipe the slate clean.

Each case of subsequent "persistent" loitering or soliciting does not need to be met with any kind of formal warning to be considered for prosecution. However, in the event of an offender who leaves court following a conviction for soliciting or loitering, and then immediately resumed this activity, they would need to be told to desist at least once before they could be considered for any fresh prosecution.

Section 17 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 amends section 1(2) of the Street Offences Act 1959, which sets out the fines applicable on summary conviction for loitering or soliciting. Section 17 introduces into section 1(2)(A) of the Street Offences Act 1959, orders requiring attendance at meetings as an alternative penalty to a fine for those convicted under section 1(1). The court may deal with a person convicted of this offence by making an order requiring the offender to attend three meetings with the person specified in the order (the supervisor) or with such other person as the supervisor may direct. The purpose of the order is to assist the offender, through attendance at those meetings, to:

a) address the causes of the conduct constituting the offence, and
b) find ways to cease engaging in such conduct in the future.

Where the court is dealing with an offender who is already subject to such an order, the court may not make a further order under this section unless it first revokes the existing order. If the court makes an order under section 1(2)(A) it may not impose any other penalty in respect of the offence. This is with effect from 1 April 2010.

This is a summary offence punishable by a fine not exceeding level two on the standard scale. For an offence committed after a previous conviction, a fine not exceeding level three on the standard scale.

Section 18 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 amends section 5 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. It applies to the rehabilitation periods for those convicted of loitering or soliciting for the purposes of offering services as a prostitute and sentenced to an order under section 1 of the Street Offences Act 1959. The rehabilitation period applicable to an order under section 1(2)(A) of the Street Offences Act 1959 shall be 6 months from the date of conviction for the offence in respect of which the order is made. When the order has been completed, the person subject to the order will have become a rehabilitated person under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This is with effect from 1 April 2010.

Charging Practice

Charging practice should usually be to encourage those offering services as a prostitute to find routes out of prostitution and to deter those who create the demand for it. If it is decided that a criminal charge is necessary, the police should consider whether a section 17 order requiring the offender to attend three meetings with a supervisor to address the causes of the conduct constituting the offence, is appropriate and take early steps to explore this option. Prosecutors should then when appropriate remind the court of the availability of the order following conviction.

The nuisance caused and the impact of street prostitution on local communities should not be underestimated. Communities where street prostitution flourishes are often marginalised as "red light" districts and other forms of crime such as drug dealing can take place. The environment can become littered with discarded needles and condoms and local female residents can be harassed by kerb crawlers.

Finding routes out of prostitution can be a difficult and lengthy process involving drug treatment, housing, health and employment needs. The CPS approach should be incremental to provide those involved in prostitution with opportunities to find a route out of prostitution. Many CPS Areas have developed prosecuting strategies in agreement with their local police force that focuses on rehabilitation.

These include:

First and second offences - caution and encouragement to access support services;
Third offence - arrest and charge with continued encouragement to access support services;
Fourth offence - repeat third stage;
Fifth offences - repeat third stage and apply for ASBO on conviction.
Often a person offering services as a prostitute is seen both to loiter and then to solicit. In such circumstances, he/she should be charged with both offences, as alternatives. When there is a conviction on one, the other must be withdrawn or dismissed.

If an appeal seems likely, the court should be asked to make no judgement on the second offence, so that if the appeal succeeds the case can go ahead on the second offence if need be.

Source: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/prostitution_and_exploitation_of_prostitution/#a11

Offline divaescort

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Re: UK laws on street prostitution
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