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elrond

Section 14 40 Charged So Far

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Section 14 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 created a new offence under section 53A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 of paying for the sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force, threats or other form of coercion by a third party. This offence came into effect on 1 April 2010. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) records identify that 40 offences have been charged since its enactment. The CPS has no record of the number of arrests. The CPS case management system provides national data which relates only to the number of offences recorded in magistrates court and are not held by defendant or outcome.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-06-13a.58953.h&s=prostitution#g58953.r0

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Thanks for the link - Catherine McKinnell (Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne North) who elicited this, rather limited, information is as I'd expect ignorant!

Section 14 of the 2009 Act is NOT the offence creating thinggy! That section merely inserts into the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a new section - parliamentary code is that s.73(a) is a sub-section of s.73, whereas s.73A is a new section inserted subsequently by another statute. Some bits of Companies Act meddling went (before the 2006 Act was fully into force) to s.196ZA, but one should always refer to "de noo law" as SOA 2003, s.53A.

Bloody daft that CPS don't keep any records of the outcomes - what the answer doesn't give is whether (as I strongly suspect) any of these 40 were not, actually, "charged" but cautioned.

Edited by Irgendeiner

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Section 14 of the 2009 Act is NOT the offence creating thinggy! That section merely inserts into the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a new section

It does rankle me when people refer to section 14 PCA 2009 when no such offence exists.On that basis I'm surprised that she managed to get any sort of response.

In the following request, they referred to the correct section and statute but even then the response referred to a completely different offence ie. section 53.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2010-10-19b.17980.h&s=53A#g17980.q0

Like Irgendeiner, I'm surprised that the CPS couldn't supply details of the outcome of these prosecutions. I'm also surprised that 40 people have been charged, if indeed it's true - which I actually doubt. I think that it's likely that the individual who prepared the reply confused "cautioned" with "charged".

If 40 individuals had been charged I would have expected a fair proportion to have appeared in court. I've seen no mention in the media of this happening. I've no doubt that if the Met had secured some convictions,they would have issued a press release congratulating themselves.

I suppose that it's possible that the various police forces in E&W have charged 40 individuals, only to have the majority of them NFA'd by the CPS or asked to call them back in to see if they'll accept a simple caution rather than go to court. That seems very unlikely though.

On balance I'm just inclined to think that the AG's response was just plain wrong - just like the October one.

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He says "40 offences" does he mean this specific offence, and 40 individuals?

His answer could mean any number of possibilities.

Edited by Strawberry

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He says "40 offences" does he mean this specific offence, and 40 individuals?

His answer could mean any number of possibilities.

I agree. The only thing that is clear to me is that he didn't answer the question.

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Why bother cautioning when conviction is guaranteed under strict liability ?

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Section 14 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 created a new offence under section 53A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 of paying for the sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force, threats or other form of coercion by a third party. This offence came into effect on 1 April 2010. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) records identify that 40 offences have been charged since its enactment. The CPS has no record of the number of arrests. The CPS case management system provides national data which relates only to the number of offences recorded in magistrates court and are not held by defendant or outcome.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-06-13a.58953.h&s=prostitution#g58953.r0

It's clearly bollocks. They had no problem breaking down the cases by arrest/conviction when answering the wrong question i.e. How many people charged with trafficking for sexual exploitation.

But they can't answer in any detail for this offence. 40 is also sounding very high. 40 arrests would sound about right. But there's no way that 40 people have been taken to court. In fact I'm 99.9% certain that if even ONE poor sod had been taken to court for this offence it would have been reported immediately and seized upon by Fiona MacTaggart or whoever. Also no one is going to be taken to court unless they're refusing to accept a caution, and in that case they're clearly going to be up for a fight and you know that the case would make headlines with the inevitable challenge to strict liability.

A better question to ask, assuming you can get a straight answer, would be.....

"Where a person has been arrested, cautioned or charged with an offence under secion 53A of the SOA 2003 how many other people, if any, were arrested, charged or cautioned for an offence that indicated they had forced or coerced etc. the relevant prostitute into working? e.g. causing or inciting sex without consent, kidnap, false imprisonment, making threats or assault etc."

Now the response to that question WOULD be interesting.

Edited by punter992005

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Why bother cautioning when conviction is guaranteed under strict liability ?

It's not guaranteed.

The prosecution have to prove all the necessary elements eg. payment (or promise of payment) for a sexual service plus exploitative conduct. Proving exploitative conduct is going to be difficult especially if the prostitute is unwilling to give evidence or has been deported.

This is a difficult offence to prosecute - as acknowledged by the CPS and ACPO.

Maximum fine is £1,000. So you're looking at about £400 on average. It's not even a recordable offence.

Compare the offence with soliciting (formerly kerbcrawling). That's an easy offence to prove and you don't even need the prostitute to give evidence.

This isn't an offence designed for prosecution. It's a deterrent. Far easier to persuade the offender to admit guilt and accept a caution. Police are happy because the caution counts as a detection. CPS are happy because they don't have to prosecute.

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I recall in the very early days there were two or three cases where it appeared that cautions were issued. These were for places that no one here knew about and appeared to be for particular groups.

There are I believe 44 Police Forces in England and Wales. So that is just over one arrest per Force in 14 months or one every 1 and a half weeks.

I bet the men arrested, if the figures are correct, are the types who lose £10 and find 2p.

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Why bother cautioning when conviction is guaranteed under strict liability ?

ah, well it isn't.

1)Strict liability simply means that they don't need to prove you knew. But they still need to prove that she actually IS "forced, threatened, deceived or coerced". Which may be tricky since most of these girls are handed over to immigration at the earliest opportunity and the police never see them again. I can virtually guarantee they'd be long gone by the time the case ever came to court.

2)This offence is actually unique in its use of strict liability, and is therefore open to attack in court.

a ) You're being held strictly liable for an offence primarily committed by a third party, whose very existance may not even be known to you.

b ) It's the only offence where you have no way of ascertaining whether you're breaking the law no matter what you or the girl does.

c ) Even the police can't ascertain whether the girl is forced etc. with 100% certainty. They're relying on her statement and she had reasons to lie to you when you paid her i.e because the pimp will kick the shit out of her if she loses a client, and she potentially has reasons to lie to the police i.e because she's worried she's in trouble and wants to appear to be a victim because the police in her home country are all cunts, and she's ashamed and her family may find out, or she thinks she'll be allowed to stay in the country if she's a victim of sex slavery etc. etc

d) Even drink driving, having no insurance etc. which are commonly touted as also being strict liability allow you some leeway. For example if you thought you were drinking orange juice and someone genuinely spiked your drink you can get away with it. If you've hired a car or been given a courtesy car which has no insurance you're not going to be charged as you had no way of knowing and were not responsible (I saw a case like this on one of the reality police shows that are on TV). The only offence where a similar level of strict liability is levied is where you have sex with a child under 13....and that's classed alongside rape. Yet this offence only has a £1000 fine even if it's your 20th conviction, so how can they justify it? Especially when, as indicated above, you can't ever know whether you're breaking the law. You can ask a girl for ID and if she has a passport and shows it to you then you have something that directly relates to her age and therefore your potential for having your collar felt. So you CAN avoid sex with a 12 year old, and the police can definitely go to court with her age firmly established. But what can she do to prove she's not being forced? Nothing. Even thinking theoretically and really pushing the bounds of plausibility, there's nothing anyone can do to prove they're working voluntarily. You've just got to take their word for it. So you're being held strictly liable for something that can't be absolutely proved. Unique.

Edited by punter992005

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Surely when we are supplied with statistics from cases (eg that only 6.8% of rape cases are found guilty) there will be some stats that show how many people are taken to court for any specific offence?

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Surely when we are supplied with statistics from cases (eg that only 6.8% of rape cases are found guilty) there will be some stats that show how many people are taken to court for any specific offence?

You would have thought so. They just don't seem to understand the questions.

I've made my own FOI request to the MOJ:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/prostitution_convictions

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You would have thought so. They just don't seem to understand the questions.

I've made my own FOI request to the MOJ:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/prostitution_convictions

I think that you can be confident that they'll say that they haven't yet sorted the results yet - after all it is only June, so they haven't yet had two months to shuffle papers!

For a small bit of light relief, I do love the graphic at the top of whatdotheyknow's page - he's obviously just logged into "another well known adult site" and doesn't realise that she is standing behind him - her wide eyes show me that shit is just about to hit fan!

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How many of these cautions or whatever were for homosexual prostitution? Or is it like Sweden where not a single person has been prosecuted for payment for homosexual sexual services.

Edited by fritigern

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The MoJ have replied to my FoI request:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/prostitution_convictions

"In regards to the information that you have requested 43 defendants were found guilty under section 53a of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 at all magistrates' courts in England & Wales since April 2010."

I'm really quite surprised at that, especially as so little publicity has been given to the convictions.

We were told in December 2008 that the police expected to prosecute 300 cases a year.

"Police expect to close up to 1,200 brothels and prosecute 300 men a year under new laws designed to crack down on prostitution. The figures are contained in official Home Office impact assessments produced to accompany the Policing and Crime Reduction Bill, due to be debated by MPs in the new year.

The Bill allows officers to close brothels and leave them sealed for up to three months. Previously, a loophole meant officers could stage a raid and make arrests but were powerless to close down the establishment.

Estimates published yesterday suggested that between 780 and 1,200 closure orders would be served each year.

The Bill contains a new offence of paying for sex with a prostitute controlled for gain, which is designed to target men by threatening them with court action if they use prostitutes who have been trafficked, are controlled by pimps or are working for drug dealers.

A six-month police operation last year identified 800 UK brothels where women were working who had been trafficked into the UK. Despite the fanfare accompanying the legislation, officials estimate that only 300 people a year would be prosecuted.

Critics say the policy will drive prostitution further underground and leave women more vulnerable to abuse."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-crackdown-on-prostitution-expected-to-close-1200-brothels-1210067.html

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I am not completely surprised that there have been that many convictions, but am truly astonished that there has been no publicity as far as we know. From our side we are watching for the public humiliations, and from their side what is the point in introducing legislation designed to dampen demand, and not then hang up the crows that did get shot.

Anyone explain this to me?

BTW many thanks to Silverdao and Irgendeiner for their expertise in this area. Very helpful for us lay peeps.

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The MoJ have replied to my FoI request:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/prostitution_convictions

"In regards to the information that you have requested 43 defendants were found guilty under section 53a of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 at all magistrates' courts in England & Wales since April 2010."

I'm really quite surprised at that, especially as so little publicity has been given to the convictions.

We were told in December 2008 that the police expected to prosecute 300 cases a year.

"Police expect to close up to 1,200 brothels and prosecute 300 men a year under new laws designed to crack down on prostitution. The figures are contained in official Home Office impact assessments produced to accompany the Policing and Crime Reduction Bill, due to be debated by MPs in the new year.

The Bill allows officers to close brothels and leave them sealed for up to three months. Previously, a loophole meant officers could stage a raid and make arrests but were powerless to close down the establishment.

Estimates published yesterday suggested that between 780 and 1,200 closure orders would be served each year.

The Bill contains a new offence of paying for sex with a prostitute controlled for gain, which is designed to target men by threatening them with court action if they use prostitutes who have been trafficked, are controlled by pimps or are working for drug dealers.

A six-month police operation last year identified 800 UK brothels where women were working who had been trafficked into the UK. Despite the fanfare accompanying the legislation, officials estimate that only 300 people a year would be prosecuted.

Critics say the policy will drive prostitution further underground and leave women more vulnerable to abuse."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-crackdown-on-prostitution-expected-to-close-1200-brothels-1210067.html

Very interesting information. So 43 in all rather than the only 300 a year as they put it that would be prosecuted so about 14-15% of what they said. I can only assume it shows the problem as they saw it, (HHs crusade) is not so far as bad as they said it was.

We would certainly be hearing about this number of brothels being raided and possibly closed so the fact we arent tells me this amount arent being either raided or closed. :)

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The MoJ have replied to my FoI request:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/prostitution_convictions

"In regards to the information that you have requested 43 defendants were found guilty under section 53a of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 at all magistrates' courts in England & Wales since April 2010."

I'm really quite surprised at that, especially as so little publicity has been given to the convictions.

Are you allowed to return and ask for "further and better particulars"? I'd suggest (although to be fair these statistics probably aren't collected) asking for the place of birth of each of these 43 blokes! I'd bet a guinea that the majority were not British born, and that the brothels in which they were nicked were those that service the Albanian, Romanian, and Chinese/Vietnamese sub-cultures. And that is why we didn't read the press reports! We don't read those papers.

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Are you allowed to return and ask for "further and better particulars"? I'd suggest (although to be fair these statistics probably aren't collected) asking for the place of birth of each of these 43 blokes! I'd bet a guinea that the majority were not British born, and that the brothels in which they were nicked were those that service the Albanian, Romanian, and Chinese/Vietnamese sub-cultures. And that is why we didn't read the press reports! We don't read those papers.

Wouldn't be surprised by that. I know of one case where a girl trafficked coercively was being pimped exclusively to restaurant workers.

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