Anorak News | Kerbing The Problem

Kerbing The Problem

by | 18th, January 2006

‘IF you were a prostitute and the police arrested you for plying the world’s oldest trade and you were ordered to pay a fine, how would you go about getting the money to pay the Government its dues?

The Telegraph says that there are 80,000 prostitutes working in the UK. The Guardian says the Home Office estimates that 95% of the women who sell sex for a living are dependent on heroin or crack.

The drug problem appears to be rife in the sex industry. That drugs and prostitution are linked cannot be down to chance. So why fine the women for being users, and used?

That’s one of the points that should be addressed in the Government’s new strategy to deal with prostitution.

But it’s not. As the Guardian says the Home Office has dropped plans mooted last year to allow red-light ‘toleration zones’. The new plan is to allow two prostitutes to work together in what have been universally termed “mini-brothels”.

Surely a brothel, whether it be staffed by 2 or 102 women, is always a brothel. If the intention, as the Telegraph says ministers claim it is, is to make prostitutes safer from attack, there is a case for safety in numbers. More prostitutes in bigger, better run brothels would provide an improved environment for the workers to operate in.

The Health and Safety Executive could then step in and ensure the bedding did not constitute a chaffing hazard, the heating in the dungeon was at the optimum temperature and that the chocolate body spread was truly organic.

But what about the locals, says the Government. Fiona Mactaggart, the Home Office minister, tells the Telegraph that “very small scale operations can operate in a way that is not disruptive to neighbours”.

Ah, the neighbours. How easy it is to upset the neighbours. Perhaps they’re worried the girls will start planting Leylandii along Acacia Avenue.

We humbly suggests that what upsets the neighbours is not so much the behaviour of the brothel worker – working behind closed doors and drawn curtains, and subject to the laws on noise and public nuisance like the rest of us – but the punters.

Surely it is the men who use prostitutes who should be targeted. Make them pay by naming them and shaming them. Fine them – they’ll need to work harder and pay more taxes to afford it.

And spend the revenue on programmes to help those prostitutes forced into the trade to escape it, and to create better conditions for those who choose to work as they do…’

Posted: 18th, January 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink