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Prostitution

Volume 713: debated on Wednesday 21 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to discourage prostitution, and the buying of sex, in the United Kingdom. [HL5582]

The Government's Co-ordinated Prostitution Strategy, published in July 2006, aims to challenge the view that street prostitution is inevitable, achieve an overall reduction in street prostitution and reduce all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

To achieve these objectives we have updated guidance on safeguarding children from sexual exploitation to prevent children from becoming involved in prostitution. We have also run a campaign to discourage kerb crawling, involving co-ordinated police action and a publicity campaign informing potential kerb crawlers of the consequences of being convicted.

In November 2008 the Government published Tackling the Demand for Prostitution: A Review and following the review's recommendations has included a number of measures in the Policing and Crime Bill aimed at reducing the demand for prostitution. These measures are; a new offence of paying for sex with someone who has been subject to exploitative conduct, amendments to the offence of kerb crawling to allow police to arrest someone the first time they solicit prostitutes in public places, and closure orders which would allow premises associated with certain prostitution or pornography-related offences to be closed for up to six months. The Bill also includes a measure to create a new rehabilitative order as a punishment for loitering or soliciting for the purposes of prostitution to help prostitutes find a way out of prostitution.