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Some people may have had trouble accessing links to the recent serious of documentaries on prostitution aired on the BBC (discussed previously on Harlots)where idea were promoted for a nation wide ugly mug scheme. Even if you did see the documentary I think that it is interesting to have the full text of Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne who is the Association of Chief Police Officers spokesperson on Prostitution & Sexual Exploitation from the BBC Documentary aired in December 2010.
DCC Simon Byrne’s Interview in full (He is speaking in his ACPO role)Presenter-The Association of Chief
Police officers’ sees work being done here (Liverpool) that could be adopted by other forces and ACPO believes that having a national ugly mugs database is key to properly protecting people
DCC Byrne- “whilst some people find the nature of being a prostitute or sex worker abhorrent, we’ve’ got to recognise we have a duty to protect them so I think any murder is one too many and if we can do something simple and effective to stop that then we should do so, I think there’s another dimension to that, it sounds quite brutal-there’s a significant cost to policing and investigating a murder when times are hard and you’ve got all the austerity and revolution going on in public service to make sure we get value for money there’s some hard edged maths to be done here, invest a small amount of money in rolling this scheme out and you can prevent an awful lot of crime”
(Speaking in relation to trafficking) DCC Byrne-“clearly when you talk about the risk of being a victim of a violent crime or being someone who’s being traded as a commodity between sort of gangs and other people right across the country-those people are very vulnerable and we’ve got to put resources in to minimise that threat, we can’t police it completely away because that would be impossible, and we have to balance that with other choices we’ve got to make in a shrinking budget”
Presenter- “potentially things like setting up designated red light zones or we have some decriminalised brothels, do you think those are ideas that need to be looked at?
DCC Byrne-“ I think that certainly we’ve begun some of our own work trying to begin a debate about is there a better way of doing this, perhaps the law needs changing, some of it is frankly complicated, it is hard to implement despite probably the best intentions of people that craft that law, so I think moving forward we’d be keen for a dialogue to say is there a simpler way of codifying some of this legislation and also a better way of managing the problem, be it ideas around criminalising some parts of it and not others and I think that’s now time for that debate”
I’m sure you will all agree that this is very interesting (our thanks to Shelley Stoops for copying this text and forwarding it to Harlots).