Skip to main content

Prostitution

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to introduce legislation to implement the commitment in the Government prostitution strategy to exclude premises shared by two women from the definition of a brothel. (110441)

Following publication of the Government’s strategy on prostitution, which included our proposal to amend the definition of a brothel, it is clear that further consultation is required to ensure this change meets our objective of improving the safety of those involved in off-street prostitution, without inadvertently causing difficulties either for those involved or their neighbours. We will make an announcement in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to engage other Government departments with the prostitution strategy; and how this work is co-ordinated. (110444)

The Home Office co-ordinates the implementation of the strategy through bilateral meetings at official level, overseen by the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Sexual Offending. The following Government Departments are represented on the Ministerial Group:

Department for Education and Skills

Department of Health

Department for Constitutional Affairs

Department for Communities and Local Government

Attorney General’s Office

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in implementing the Government’s strategy on reducing street prostitution. (110046)

Implementation of the strategy is well under way. At its heart is the need to tackle the issue at a local level and reduce the number of women tied to the streets by addressing the reasons for their involvement.

So far as the latter is concerned, the Government have invested £600 million in drug treatment provisions, with over 140,000 people successfully completing drug treatment programmes. We also plan to introduce a new penalty requiring women to engage with services to deal with the issues behind their involvement in prostitution, including drug addiction and homelessness. In addition to this, the Sexual Violence Action Plan, due to be published in the new year, has a number of specific measures aimed at addressing sexual violence against people involved in prostitution.

The strategy provides a framework for local areas to develop their own co-ordinated response to the problems associated with prostitution in their areas. We continue to work with local partnerships and individual agencies, including the police, to ensure that a prostitution strategy is developed in every area where there is a problem to be addressed.