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Please support if you can this action organised by the ECP.
ACTION ALERT . . . Stop the prosecution of a woman falsely accused of prostitution who faces prison for breaching an Anti-social Behaviour Order.
Posted on July 10, 2013 by English Collective of Prostitutes
Please write urgently to protest this injustice to the addresses below. This prosecution is not in the public interest and should be dropped. Model letter below.
To: Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions firstname.lastname@example.org
CPS, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS
Cc: CPS North East Case Progression Team email@example.com
The Cooperage 8 Gainsford Street, Bermondsey, SE1 2NE. (DX161230 Bermondsey 4).
Rushanara Ali MP firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA 020 7219 7200
347 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9RA
And: English Collective of Prostitutes firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7482 2496
On Friday 12 July, 10am at Stratford Magistrates Court, Ms CH faces charges of breaching an Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO) which bans her from loitering throughout the whole borough of Tower Hamlets for 26 years. This offence carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Ms CH is not guilty of loitering. She lives in Tower Hamlets — her home is in the red-light area! Every time she leaves her house she risks being arrested for loitering regardless of what she is doing. On this occasion she was waiting for a taxi.
What is the evidence needed to prove loitering? “Standing on a street corner looking in the direction of several men” has been enough in some cases. So it isn’t what you do, it is who you are that seems to be the greatest proof of street prostitution. How is a woman who has worked in the past ever able to defend herself and be believed when the case relies on hearsay evidence from the police alone and is heard before magistrates who rubber stamp what the police say.
Ms CH was given the ASBO about four years ago when she was ill and not in a position to challenge it. Some of the evidence used didn’t even relate to her but to another woman. Instead of providing support, Ms CH feels the police took advantage of her vulnerable state. The Metropolitan Police have acknowledged that pursuing sex workers for ASBOs undermines safety because it deters women from reporting rape and other violence.
Read rest of alert HERE complete with sample letter.