Prostitution

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 6th November 2008.

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Photo of Fiona Mactaggart Fiona Mactaggart Labour, Slough 10:30 am, 6th November 2008

What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the review of demand for prostitution; and if she will make a statement.

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Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Solicitor General, Law Officers' Department

I have discussed with the Home Secretary a number of measures to address the problems of prostitution arising from the demand review. They were mainly announced by the Home Secretary in September, and included improvements to the legislation on kerb crawling, new powers to close brothels, greater restrictions on lap dancing clubs and a new offence of paying for sex with someone who is controlled for another's gain. The full results of the review will be announced this month.

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Photo of Fiona Mactaggart Fiona Mactaggart Labour, Slough

I thank the Solicitor-General for that reply. The last of those offences announced by the Home Secretary—the offence of having sex with someone who is controlled for gain—mirrors an offence in Finland. Is the Solicitor-General aware that there have been no prosecutions since the Finnish offence was introduced?

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Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Solicitor General, Law Officers' Department

No, I did not know that. However, I do not think that that is an inherent defect of the offence, and I am not sure that the two offences are identical. We prosecute those who control prostitutes for gain, so prosecuting people who pay for sex with a person who has been prostituted for gain goes with the grain of what we do already. We all know that a very high percentage of prostitutes are controlled for another's gain, so one might think that there is a 90 per cent. chance that any man who buys sex will fall foul of this law. We will have to design its finer points later, but we have every hope that it will make a significant difference and be a significant deterrent.

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i pay for sex when i can afford to, its consenting indoor paid sex,if i fall foul of the new law then so be it! if gays are allowed to have sex in public toilets and parks then heterosexuals should be allowed to have consenting indoor paid sex.

i look forward to breaking the new law!

Submitted by peter schevtschenko Read 3 more annotations