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ENGLISH COLLECTIVE OF PROSTITUTES ON ACPO CALL FOR DECRIMINALISATION
It is a tragedy that it has taken the murders of countless sex workers including of five young women in Ipswich and three women in Bradford in the last few years, for the police to question whether the prostitution laws are ‘fit for purpose’ and suggest that decriminalisation as introduced by New Zealand should be considered. New Zealand successfully decriminalised all prostitution (as opposed to legalisation) both indoors and on the street, eight years ago. There has been no increase in prostitution and sex workers find it safer.
Any measures on prostitution should be first of all judged by whether they make sex workers safer. Women driven from the streets, including in Ipswich, have been shunted into other areas and driven underground into more danger. Self-help safety networks have been broken up. Hundreds of sex workers are being criminalised for working together in premises for safety. Fear of arrest (and for immigrant sex workers, deportation) deter women from coming forward to report rape and other violence. In some high profile cases where women have reported violent attacks, they have been arrested for prostitution while their attacker goes free.
ACPO is right to ask why New Zealand’s decriminalisation is not being followed? The government should act before more sex workers lose their lives.
English Collective of Prostitutes
Crossroads Women’s Centre
230A Kentish Town Road
London NW5 2AB
Tel: 020 7482 2496
Fax: 020 7209 4761
Mobile: 07811 964 171