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Trends In Prosecutions For Prostitution

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I see from the listing of parliamentary business for Tuesday 13 October at http://services.parliament.uk/calendar/Commons/WestminsterHall/2015/10/13/events.html the following scheduled event from 11-11:30 am:-

 

Westminster Hall debate

Trends in prosecutions for prostitution - Mr Gavin Shuker
 
Does anyone with more knowledge of parliamentary practices than me know what form this debate will take, who is scheduled to speak, who is qualified to attend, whether the debate will end in a vote, and if so whether any vote will have any practical implications or effect?
 
Also what role if any will Gavin Shuker play in the event? Those who have followed parliamentary coverage of prostitution will be familiar with Gavin Shuker. Here is a relevant extract from his wikipedia entry:-
 

Alongside his frontbench activities, Shuker has served as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade, Vice-Chair of the Polar Regions All-Party Parliamentary Group, Vice-Chair of the Christians in Parliament APPG and Vice-Chair of the Thameslink Route APPG. He is a member of other APPGs, including the group on Kashmir, East-West Rail and Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.

 

In March 2014 under Shuker’s chairmanship, the APPG on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade published a new report on the legal state of prostitution in England and Wales. The result of a year-long consultation it was the first major cross-party report on the issue since the mid-1990s. The report called for a wholesale review of the existing legal settlement on prostitution, advocating consideration of a move towards the so-called 'Nordic model'. In the foreword to the APPG's report, Shuker wrote: "In short, we recommend a shift in the burden of criminality from those who are the most marginalised and vulnerable – to those that create the demand in the first place."
 
 

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'Christians in Parliament' was sufficient to know which side of the fence he was going to be on.

 

Lets hope he spots that the 'trend' has been for zero prosecutions since the trafficking bill was enacted a few years ago, and precious few, if any, cautions.

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This "debate" took place yesterday as billed. Here's the Hansard transcript.

 

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151013/halltext/151013h0001.htm#151013h0001.htm_spnew9

 

The whole debate lasted just 23 minutes and appears to have taken the form of a statement by Gavin Shuker and a response from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Karen Bradley.

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Looking at what Shuker said in his argument

 

As I have said, the number of prostitution-related offences is down, but that does not reflect a reduction in the size of the trade, nor in its inherently exploitative and violent nature

 

 

What does he mean by that?

 

Do the antis really believe that most prostitutes/escorts are trafficked underage foreign girls with evil pimps?

 

For most women in on-street work, drug and alcohol abuse is a fact of life. All that is a world away from the myth of the “happy hooker” promoted on television and in film

 

 

'Promoted' by whom? Is he talking about documentaries, reality TV or fictional programmes? Most TV and film is always sensationalised, either way- whether it's the gritty grim face of prostitution in kitchen sink dramas, Liam Neeson rescuing his daughter in Taken or the sugar-coated drivel of Pretty Woman.

 

 

We also demonstrated the effect that prostitution had on wider cultural attitudes with regard to gender equality and how demand might be tackled by making it less socially acceptable to choose to buy sex.

 

 

I doubt there are many 'punters' here who would freely confess to many of their family and friends that they have paid for sex.

 

Specifically, will she inform us whether the Westminster Government will follow the example of Holyrood and formally treat prostitution as a form of violence against women

 

 

That word 'violence' again.

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Completely confused by his logic...well, that is to say I know his game - he's trying to misrepresent things to get his way but the logic is ridiculously easy to attack.

 

First off what does he mean when he says there's been a 75% reduction in prosecutions for advertising prostitution? I'm unaware of any legislation that even makes this an offence. It would be covered under controlling prostitution for gain, and could be covered by carding offences but I don't know exactly what he's trying to say.

 

Next his whole spiel regarding the inequality in arrests for street prostitution is laughable. The women are out there every night, for hours at a time. Gaining evidence and arresting them is a doddle. The men are maybe only there for 10 minutes at the most and the bit the police really need to see is over and done with in seconds as they pull up, she jumps in and off he goes. So of course women will be arrested more, but it's nothing to do with women being targeted, and at the end of the day the entire offence is entirely illegal for all concerned. There is NOTHING that could be introduced legally that would assist the police in fixing this inequality that he sees....even if prostitution were entirely illegal the police would still not be able to arrest men involved in kerb crawling etc until they'd caught them in circumstances that would already permit them to be arrested for existing offences!!!

 

A new law would ONLY affect indoor prostitution which he talked very little about as he couldn't find sufficient ammo and he couldn't really talk about inequality as the women are not arrestable in any case, unless they're running the place. In which case their gender is irrelevant.

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This excerpt from Hansard (Hansard Citation: HL Deb, 25 November 2015, cW)  might be of interest on this topic

Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information they have about the number of persons brought to justice for trafficking in persons, enslavement, forced prostitution, labour exploitation, and other similar crimes in the last three years, both in the UK and in other jurisdictions.

 Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

The number of perpetrators of ‘slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour’, ‘human trafficking for sexual exploitation’ and ‘human trafficking for non-sexual exploitation’ found guilty and sentenced in each of the last three years is available at: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2014

The ‘Outcomes by Offence Tables’ should be selected, and can be filtered for each of the three offences listed above. The UK Government does not hold information on the numbers brought to justice in other jurisdictions.

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