Man2k

Policing & Crime Bill 2nd Reading

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ITS DEAD

Section 2 of this bill is DEAD, this section is being ripped to shreds in Parliament, as I write, Keith Vaz, Chairman of The Home Affairs Select Committee, has just said all I needed to know. The Bill in its present form will not get though Committee.

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Please forgive me for repeating a view I expressed some three months ago:

This legislation - even if enacted - will be nugatory. The police have plenty enough to do. And their burden will extend as does the effects of the economic climate with, I predict, (as does incidentally the Home Office) an increase in general low levels of crime.

Chief Constables have plenty of real crime to deal with. They are simply not going to deploy valuable resources against the likes of the average Jo Punter. As before, there will continue raids where there have been complaints. And where complaints are made by genuine punters concerned re possible trafficked women then there should jolly well should be.

Uncle Pokey

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ITS DEAD

Section 2 of this bill is DEAD, this section is being ripped to shreds in Parliament, as I write, Keith Vaz, Chairman of The Home Affairs Select Committee, has just said all I needed to know. The Bill in its present form will not get though Committee.

Is this official?

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...loads of rant from Fiona Mactaggart

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...loads of rant from Fiona Mactaggart

I'm listening to her now - God she's full of shit

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Is this official?

No its wishfull thinking. But I am watching it live now and it is very interesting.

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as well as keith vaz,anthony steen© and chris huhne (ld) were critical of strict liability,david davies © made an analagy with child beggars who are trafficked to make money,should people who give money to child beggars be prosecuted to stop trafficking.it seems that more money can be made from child beggars trafficked than women trafficked

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as well as keith vaz,anthony steen© and chris huhne (ld) were critical of strict liability,david davies © made an analagy with child beggars who are trafficked to make money,should people who give money to child beggars be prosecuted to stop trafficking.it seems that more money can be made from child beggars trafficked than women trafficked

An identical argument was made in a debate a month or so ago. Probably the same guy - asked HH direct (could have been JS, not sure) if she was planning to make it an offence to give to child beggars, and she got all flustered and said she'd get back to him with an answer. She tried to say that giving to beggars wasn't the same as having sex with someone, but he said "That's an emotional response, and we can't be emotional, we have to be logical.....they're trafficked, and used to make money by their traffickers etc.etc.....should that be an offence?".

Like I've been saying the last few months, the whole thing's falling apart. No chance with strict liability. Without it they can no longer talk about trafficked women as you can't expect men to know.....and they can't admit control covers any man found in any brothel or agency flat irrespective of trafficking since that would kill the bill's entire raison d'etre.

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A must watch... watching it now live.

What you reckon psisam ? I watched the whole debate from 3:30 till 10pm

even has a piss in a wine bottle mid way through so I didn't miss any of the debate :rolleyes:

Certainly more arguments against than for. The only people speaking for the bill were HH in here opening speech, McTaggart (who was more interested in her mobile phone when the opposition was replying to her) and Vernon Coker who seems to be a lapdog to HH.

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Any news?

The official website has yet to be updated http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/policingandcrime.html

debate has now been archived here:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3133&rel=ok

I only listened to parts of it while doing other things,

Anthony Steen and Chris Huhne were no doubt the stars,

good speach from Nadine Dorries© @ 06:09:35

Fiona Mactaggart would have made G

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The full transcript is here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/06.htm

(NB It is replaced by the Official Report (Hansard) at 8 am the following morning. ) and should be here tomorrow http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmhansrd.htm

Dr. Brian Iddon (Bolton, South-East) (Lab): I thank my right hon. Friend, but why have the Government almost totally ignored the experiences of New Zealand?

Jacqui Smith: In putting together the tackling demand review, we actually spent quite a lot of time looking at international experience, as well as at the, I have to say, conflicting views of those involved in lobbying on this issue in the UK. I believe that the range of policies brought forward as a result of that review are the most effective way to protect both women and communities blighted by prostitution.

Mr. Anthony Steen (Totnes) (Con): I would like some clarification of clause 13. Is the Home Secretary actually trying to drive prostitutes off the streets and stamp out the business of running brothels? Is she against any form of prostitution? Is she going to close sauna and massage parlours? I am not saying that I disagree with her; I just want to know the aims behind clause 13. If it is about trafficking, it may not succeed; if it is about prostitution, it is another business altogether. What is the Home Secretary's aim in clause 13?

Jacqui Smith: I am opposed to exploitation, whether it stems from trafficking or elsewhere. I am opposed to the fact that there are women in this country who do not make a free choice to engage in prostitution and are being controlled, exploited and in some cases effectively enslaved. We are proposing the new measures in order to take action against that. I know that the hon. Gentleman has an important and good record on campaigning against trafficking. I think that the provisions will help us to identify and limit it, because without the demand for the prostitution, often fed by trafficking, we have more chance of tackling the actual trafficking itself, to which I know the hon. Gentleman is seriously committed.

Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab): I thank my right hon. Friend for giving way. Does she agree that what she proposes is further to criminalise sex workers unless they participate in compulsory rehabilitation on pain of imprisonment. What evidence is there that such compulsory rehabilitation actually works? Should we not concentrate on providing excellent programmes that people who want to leave prostitution can engage in? Furthermore, how does criminalising men help keep sex workers safe? Why does the Home Secretary not listen to the evidence put forward by the Safety First coalition

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Mr. Malins: I, too, congratulate my hon. Friend on taking up his new post. On clause 13, does he not agree that it is very silly indeed to have a measure whereby a man commits an offence if he uses the services of a prostitute whose activities are controlled in any way, notwithstanding the fact that first, the man did not know, secondly, he had no reason to know and thirdly, upon inquiry he was told that there was no such control? What is the man expected to do? There is no defence; is that not bad law?

Lynne Jones: Does that not also mean that men who discover that a woman is trafficked or controlled will be less likely to report it, if this is criminalised?

Keith Vaz:

Finally, I wish to tackle the other point that causes me concern. I hope that the Home Secretary will re-examine her proposals in clause 13, in part 2 of the Bill, on sex offences. I understand why the Government have decided to take this course of action on sex offences. The Select Committee has just concluded its inquiry into the very serious problem of human trafficking. In this House today there is a world authority on the issues associated with human trafficking; we are very lucky to have the expertise of the hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Steen), who has campaigned on these issues for many years. I am not convinced that the best course of action is to prosecute in the proposed way men who go into situations where they wish to buy sex from prostitutes; such men are going to be expected to ask whether the woman concerned has been trafficked, and even if they get an incorrect answer, as is highly likely, given the situation that these poor women are in, they will then be prosecuted.

The police's own evidence to the Select Committee

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Chris Huhne: I am not sure that the matter is as clear-cut as the hon. Lady suggests. I am here as an economist; I am not a lawyer, and I make no claim to special legal expertise, but I certainly listen to the submissions that I get from people who are much more legally expert than I. People who do not have an axe to grind, and who share the extremely worthy objectives of both the Home Secretary and the right hon. Member for Leicester, East

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He suggests that "controlled for gain" is difficult to define, but it is clearly defined in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which has worked well. The definition was decided on by the Court of Appeal in R. v. Massey.

But as "No case to answer" in the Silk and Lace case.

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Mr. Steen: I have given the example of what happened in Paignton just before Christmas when the punters came forward to give evidence. I am sure that we could build on that if the arrangements were different and punters were not seen as criminals.

Everybody says that there is a tremendous number of trafficked women in Britain, but we have no idea of the figures. The human trafficking centre in Sheffield, which was set up by this Government

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Mrs. Nadine Dorries (Mid-Bedfordshire) (Con):

Turning to part 2 of the Bill, I wish to speak particularly about clauses 16 and 17. Clause 16 addresses orders under the Street Offences Act 1959 to do with

"loitering or soliciting for purposes of prostitution".

In effect, a court will order that prostitutes attend three meetings. This is a prime example of making bad law. Let me read out a passage:

"The purpose of an order under subsection (2A) is to assist the offender…to

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Mrs. Dorries: I stand corrected, and I am sure that what my hon. Friend says is the case at certain levels. The people with whom I am concerned in respect of this Bill are those who are controlled, those who are exposed and those who end up in prostitution via a route of need. Such people might need to feed a drug habit, the need might result from a dire financial circumstance, they may have been pimped or they may be under the control of another. My hon. Friend is talking about people who have made an active choice to go into prostitution; they actively manage their own affairs very well, given that they have considered their choice and are intelligent enough to have been able to make that choice. I do not detract from that, but the Bill was another great opportunity to have provided access to health care services, a route away from danger and harm for prostitutes and a way of controlling prostitution that would have benefited the prostitutes themselves and society as a whole.

Instead, these provisions will mean that if a prostitute does not attend the three meetings with the named person, they will be fined or put in prison. Thus, a group of people whose job puts them in danger and criminalises them will be further criminalised by the Bill. This is bad law and it is a wasted opportunity. Prostitutes need better sexual health advice: they need to know about needle exchange programmes; about where they can get a constant supply of safe condoms; about how to protect themselves; and about how to operate in a way that will protect them and their families

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David T.C. Davies: If consent to a sexual act is not given freely, the act of rape is committed.

Fiona Mactaggart: No prosecutions have ever been made.

David T.C. Davies: Well, the law is already there to deal with the issue, as the hon. Lady knows.

The measure would ensure the prosecution of men who have had sex with a woman who appeared to them to have given her consent freely. The hon. Lady and Ministers have failed to answer the question of what in practice is the difference between giving money to a child beggar and perpetuating child trafficking for the purposes of begging, and giving money to a prostitute and perpetuating prostitution.

The fact is that this is bad law, and talk of strict liability will not make it any better. The hon. Lady gave the example of people who sell alcohol to underage children, but obviously shopkeepers can ask for valid ID and check it out. Somebody else gave the example of people running red lights, but we all know that when we drive past traffic lights, it is our responsibility to be sure that they are green; if we do not and we run a red light, we are to blame and can be prosecuted. There is no way in which a punter going to a prostitute can find out for certain whether she has been trafficked. If sex is apparently freely given, the client has to assume that the woman has not been trafficked.

It is no good the hon. Member for Slough talking about every act of prostitution being one of sexual exploitation. That is not what the prostitutes say. As I said to her earlier, this morning I met a very articulate lady; in fact, I assumed that she was a solicitor and did not at first realise that she worked in the sex industry as well as lobbying Members of Parliament. Her take was that many women work in the industry quite freely because the money and the job are good. She tells me that most of those whom she meets are perfectly nice and decent and that most who run brothels are also that. She even described one brothel as a happy family business. I have no way of knowing how representative she is, but her union is linked to the GMB, which has more links to the hon. Lady's party than to mine.

What concerns me is that in going after the punters we will be going after the wrong people

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Huh! I thought I'd post the interesting parts, but almost half of the debate is

about prostitution - and I'm sure I've missed something, eg Coakers said something in the end

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Interresting read. Much appreciated, hombre

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