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Greater Manchester Police chief backs brothel debate

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne said there was “no perfect solution”
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Q&A: UK Prostitution Laws
Decriminalising brothels could solve problems linked to prostitution, says a Greater Manchester Police chief.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne said he would welcome a debate about alternative approaches to policing prostitution and sexual exploitation.

Mr Byrne, who leads the policing of prostitution for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), made the comments on the Police Chiefs blog.

He said there was “no perfect solution” but it had helped in other countries.

“There is a great amount of academic research available, much of which supports the view that an alternative approach is needed,” he said.

While the decriminalisation and regulation of brothels in Australia and New Zealand was not an answer to all related issues, he said it was “certainly a solution to some”.

He added: “More of those involved in sex work [there] can now access health services with ease, whilst maintaining more personal security.

“An approach like this would help to bridge the gap between tackling neighbourhood nuisance and the exploitation of sex workers by organised criminals and gangs.”

‘Local approach’
Mr Byrne added that policing prostitution needed effective partnerships to support victimised individuals and communities with appropriate legislation and enforcement resources in order for it to work long term.

Responding to Mr Byrne’s comments, a Home Office spokesman said: “Current laws to protect individuals and communities from the harm of prostitution have a clear focus on tackling exploitation.

“At the same time the law on sexual and violent crime is unequivocal, regardless of whether the victim is involved in prostitution.

“We believe local agencies know how to best respond to the needs of their particular communities and the most effective responses are therefore developed at local level.”
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About Douglas Fox

3 comments on “Greater Manchester Police chief backs brothel debate

  1. elrond
    6 November, 2011

    I found the statement by Mr Byrne heartening. Reading the ACPO policy though was rather another matter.

    The assumption appears that all indoor prostitution is controlled by organised crime, and all brothels potentially have trafficked women working there. No distinction appears to have been made between expoitiative brothels or the type of place run by the Sheila Farmers of this world. The document appears to suggest that greater resources are used to tackle and close down indoor prostitution. I.e in the run up to the Olympics, despite no evidence of greater trafficking, prostitution should be disrupted.

    POCA should always be used in making crime not pay.

    There is no mention in the report that violence, and underreporting of violence is often caused by the polices very action against indoor sex establishments.

    I am pleased the police work with a definition of trafficking laid out by the UN, requiring coercion, and not the law which was given to us by the government which could catch anyone.

    I see they want to look at using other laws to stop prostitution, like tax evasion caught Al Capone. Is this because they feel the current law on control for gain is inadequate to stop agencies.

    There was reference to reduction in demand, but nothing else was said about it. Most if the quoted stats appear to come from the anti prostitution side, there were references from Teela and Brookes Gordon, but no stats from research on self esteem and trafficking from the ‘pro prostitution side’

    I have to say I am rather disheartened by the policy, but pleased by the statement from Mr Bryne

  2. Douglas Fox
    6 November, 2011

    Well while the police make money from prosecuting sex workers (and lets be honest they are easy targets) nothing is going to change sadly.

    I was not impressed by the report but the words from Mr Bryne are hopeful.

  3. Pingback: The year in perspective « www.harlotsparlour.com

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This entry was posted on 4 November, 2011 by in Government Reviews and Change, Law, Organisations Comment, Safety, sex worker politics.
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