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Prostitution: Offenders

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many women were serving prison sentences for offences in connection with prostitution at the latest date for which figures are available. (240415)

The legal background to the offence of being a common prostitute, loitering, or soliciting for the purposes of prostitution is contained in Section 1 of the Street Offences Act, 1959.

Under the Act the maximum penalty for this offence is a fine, not imprisonment. Figures obtained from the prison service IT system confirm that there are currently no women serving prison sentences for the offence. Non-payment of any fine accruing from the offence would be recorded as defaulting on the payment of the fine.