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Prostitution

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department's definition of a prostitute working for another person's gain applies where the other person is (a) a receptionist, (b) also working as a prostitute, (c) working as a prostitute on the same premises, (d) a partner or a flatmate who shares premises with the prostitute woman or man, (e) a landlord letting the premises where the prostitute woman or man is working and (f) a dependant. (244923)

We announced our intention to include the offence of paying for sexual services of a prostitute controlled for gain in the Policing and Crime Bill. An explanation of the intended application of this offence will be given during the passage of this Bill.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department's definition of a prostitute working for another person's gain applies in circumstances where the prostitute has entered into a working relationship with another person in the absence of force or coercion. (244924)

We have included the offence of paying for sexual services of a prostitute controlled for gain in the Policing and Crime Bill, which was introduced on 18 December. An explanation of the intended application of this offence will be given during the passage of this Bill.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research her Department has (a) undertaken, (b) commissioned and (c) evaluated on the average age at which people first enter prostitution; and if she will place in the Library a copy of each such piece of research. (247521)

The Government's consultation paper on prostitution, “Paying the Price”, provides a summary of research on the age of first involvement in prostitution. This paper is available at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/paying_the_price.pdf?view=Binary.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what services and schemes are available to people working as prostitutes to assist them with (a) housing, (b) poverty, (c) childcare, (d) drug addiction and (e) health care; how much is planned to be spent on each such service or scheme in 2008-09; and if she will make a statement. (247528)

Support for individuals in relation to these issues is the responsibility of appropriate local agencies and funding is devolved accordingly.

To support local partnerships the Home Office has produced specific guidance for criminal justice integrated teams to assist in improving the engagement of those individuals with a Class A drug problem involved in prostitution, and to help develop effective working practices with specialist projects.

As part of the co-ordinated prostitution strategy the Government will develop guidance for local areas on commissioning services for those involved in prostitution.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what schemes and services are available to people working as prostitutes to assist them in reporting incidents of violence and abuse. (247529)

We have expanded the range of services supporting victims of sexual violence including those involved in prostitution, through the development of sexual assault referral centres (SARCS), and independent sexual violence advisers (26 SARCS are now up and running, with one in every police force area planned by 2011). In order to implement one of the recommendations of the Tackling Demand Review, and a key action of the Government's Co-ordinated Prostitution Strategy we will be developing comprehensive guidance, including on advocacy services to support women in prostitution who become victims of serious violent and sexual crime.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people have been (a) arrested, (b) prosecuted and (c) convicted for incidents of prostitution-related activity in each of the last five years; (248013)

(2) how many people have been (a) arrested for, (b) prosecuted in respect of and (c) convicted of offences of controlling prostitution for gain in each of the last five years;

(3) how many people have been (a) arrested for, (b) prosecuted in respect of and (c) convicted of offences relating to loitering or soliciting for purposes of prostitution in each of the last five years;

(4) how many people have been (a) arrested for, (b) prosecuted in respect of and (c) convicted of kerb-crawling in each of the last five years;

(5) how many people have been (a) arrested for, (b) prosecuted in respect of and (c) convicted of brothel-keeping in each of the last five years.

The information requested on arrests is not available.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person, burglary, robbery and sexual offences. From these centrally reported data we are not able to identify specific offences from within the main offence groups.

Data provided by the Ministry of Justice, showing the number of persons proceeded against and found guilty of selected prostitution offences in England and Wales, 2003 to 2007, are in the table.

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for selected prostitution offences, England and Wales, 2003 to 20071,2,3

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Offence

Statute

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Causing or inciting prostitution for gain

Sexual Offences Act 2003 S.52

2

1

1

1

2

1

Controlling a prostitute for gain

Sexual Offences Act 2003 S.53

1

12

18

23

3

11

24

Keeping a brothel used for prostitution

Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.33A as added by Sexual Offences Act 2003 S.55

3

11

39

41

4

8

27

29

Keeping a brothel

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 33.

11

26

13

34

37

4

15

11

12

31

Letting premises for use as a brothel

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 34.

1

1

Tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 35.

1

3

3

2

1

Tenant permitting premises to be used for prostitution

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 36.

2

2

1

2

Keeping a brothel for homosexual practices

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 33 as amended by Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec 6.

2

2

Letting premises for use as a brothel for homosexual practices

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 34 as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec 6.

Tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel for homosexual practices

Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec 35 as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec 6.

Kerb-crawling

Sexual Offences Act 1985 Sec 1.

956

841

717

625

554

834

760

635

532

491

Persistent soliciting of women for the purpose of prostitution

Sexual Offences Act 1985 Sec 2.

70

64

41

47

78

50

48

34

38

53

Placing an advertisement relating to prostitution

Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 S.46.

420

410

435

431

366

396

376

408

392

341

Common prostitute loitering or soliciting for the purpose of prostitution

Street Offences Act 1959 Sec 1.

2,956

2,002

1,376

845

874

2,627

1,735

1,116

648

526

1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 The number of defendants found guilty in a particular year may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the preceding year and they were found guilty at the Crown Court in the following year, or the defendants were found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests and (b) convictions there have been for soliciting for prostitution in each year since 1997. (248354)

The information requested on arrests is not available.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person, burglary, robbery and sexual offences. From these centrally reported data we are not able to identify specific offences from within the main offence groups.

Data provided by the Ministry of Justice, showing the number of defendants found guilty of soliciting for prostitution in England and Wales from 1997 to 2007 are given in the following table.

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for soliciting for prostitution, England and Wales, 1997 to 20071,2

Number

1997

5,695

1998

5,223

1999

3,378

20003

3,385

2001

2,841

2002

2,668

2003

2,627

2004

1,735

2005

1,116

2006

648

2007

526

1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Staffordshire Police Force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.