A senior police officer in Newport, the host city of golf's Ryder Cup, says his force tolerates brothels as long as they follow strict criteria.
Supt Julian Knight says it is better to work closely with those in the sex industry to enable proper
He told BBC Radio Wales' Eye on Wales that the law on prostitution created a dilemma, but he had to be pragmatic.
He spoke amid the tired old bollox claims that sex trafficking from abroad could rise around the Ryder Cup,
which begins on Friday.
Supt Knight told the programme: You have to be pragmatic about this. It is illegal. Society has a very Victorian moral code around this, as a result of which we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place .
The law on prostitution says that while it is not illegal to sell sex for financial gain, certain activities relating to it are. These include two or more people selling sex from the same premises.
However, rather than closing such premises down,
Supt Knight believes it is more effective to work closely with those involved. The Gwent Police policy in Newport, which has been in place since 2004, is to visit brothels on an ad hoc basis, and to develop relationships with the individuals involved. No
I have a list of 12 premises, he said: We know not only where they are, but also the type of individuals that are there, the type of services they offer, and the gender. That allows us, with our partner agencies, to monitor
them closely and to try to develop appropriate ways to get out of this lifestyle.
Eg Karen [not her real name] rents an apartment in Newport, from which she runs a business selling sex. Five women, including herself, work from the apartment at
different times of the day. She told Eye On Wales that she has CCTV and a panic line through to the police station.
We've got a good relationship with the police , she said: They would rather see this happening than vulnerable girls on
the street. They know we don't do drugs and that we're mature. If a man doesn't want to use a condom I ask him to leave. If he doesn't, I'd call the police and I believe they'd turn up .
Premises are tolerated as long as they do not use people
who are illegal or have been trafficked, under the age of 18, have no illegal drugs, and do not generate complaints of noise, nuisance or anti-social behaviour. Failure to comply will result in closure.
As a result, he claimed there was little
evidence of any trafficking in Newport, and those who work in the off-street sex industry can report instances of violent punters without fear of being arrested.
Eye on Wales was broadcast on BBC Radio Wales at 1300 BST on Sunday 26
September, and is now available on iPlayer.
Just recently, a Scots detective claimed that there is no sign at all that human trafficking will increase when Glasgow hosts the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Detective Sergeant Sandra Jamieson's claims, however, go against what other predictions
In fact, others believe that the Commonwealth Games will bring an increase to human trafficking for prostitution.
Robert Brown, who is a Liberal Democrat MSP, had previously said that he believes construction workers will increase
the demand for prostitution of all kinds. Glasgow Community and Safety Services, which is a charity which manages the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance, has warned that the games may increase the threat of trafficking as well. The group has called
for preventative measures to be taken in order to stop it.
The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency's human trafficking coordination unit, said that they certainly have no information or indication that trafficking will increase during the
The government coalition has decided against endorsing an EU directive designed to co-ordinate European efforts to combat the trade in sex slaves.
The coalition is invoking a special British right on any EU justice and home affairs measures. The
directive will be decided in the EU by the system known as qualified majority voting, according to which no member state can wield a veto. But Britain has the right to decide whether to opt in .
A Home Office spokesman said: Human
trafficking is a brutal form of organised crime, and combating it is a key priority for the government. The UK already complies with most of what is required by the draft EU directive.
The government will review the UK's position once the
directive has been agreed, and will continue to work constructively with European partners on matters of mutual interest. By not opting in now but reviewing our position when the directive is agreed, we can choose to benefit from being part of a
directive that is helpful but avoid being bound by measures that are against our interests.
Law enforcement agencies estimate that 2,600 foreign women have been forced into prostitution in brothels in England and Wales. Only five people were
convicted of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the first six months of this year, according to figures from the UK Human Trafficking Centre, compared with 33 and 34 in the previous two 12-month periods.
The number of prosecutions has
remained reasonably steady, at 114 in 2008/09 and 102 in 2009/10, according to figures released by Dominic Grieve, the attorney general; but the conviction rate has dropped.
A spokesman for the CPS said the number of convictions varied for several
reasons, including the fact that fewer cases may be brought to prosecutors for consideration, and that fewer defendants may be involved in each trial: We acknowledge that it is challenging to successfully prosecute human trafficking cases, but we are
committed to bringing prosecutions when there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so, he said.
Sex workers and their support groups have condemned a police operation to out prostitutes even when they have not been convicted of any crime.
Six street-based sex workers in Newham, east London, were named on the Metropolitan police
website. Police posted their photos, full names and dates of birth.
In a second case, two Polish women who were selling sex from their home in Aldgate, east London, were raided by City of London police as part of Operation Monaco.
Monaco was launched in May 2009 but police have admitted that just one charge of controlling a prostitute for gain has been made, as well as 52 charges for placing cards in phone boxes advertising sexual services.
Police took photographs of the
Polish women, who were not charged. Last Sunday, photos appeared in News of the World. The women said they were distressed by the police raid and the lack of warning that their pictures would appear in a tabloid newspaper. Vicky, one of the two women
Why have the police done this to me? I work as a childminder and a cleaner and do some sex work to make ends meet. I pay tax and national insurance and am not doing anything illegal. A lot of people know me, and
even though the News of the World blocked out my face I'm still identifiable by my hair, clothes and jewellery.
The police were looking for money and found £50 from a customer. We never use drugs and are always sober
when we're working. The police kept asking us over and over again if we'd been trafficked. We haven't been, and we signed a piece of paper to say that.
The women lodged a complaint with the newspaper, which removed their images from its
Prostitutes are expected to flood south Essex during the 2012 Olympics, a Thurrock nutter group has claimed.
So called 'experts' at the South Essex Rape and Crisis Centre have already begun investigating what can be done to discourage an influx of
prostitutes and protect women from being trafficked into the area.
Sheila Coates, director of the centre, based in Thurrock, said: Research has shown that during large sporting events, sex crime actually increases because of
the large number of participants and a lot of people travelling from country to country. Sadly, pimps see that as a way of increasing their income and we will see women trafficked to the area.
We are going to start
looking at research available from the winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa to see what the impact may or may not be. In Vancouver it looks like it wasn't as big a problem as anticipated because they planned for it and planned it
out. [or maybe those 'anticipating' the big problem were making bollox claims to forward their own anti-prostitution ends].
A spokeswoman for Essex Police said the force had not been made aware of any expected problems.
A nutter Brent councillor has called for politicians and police across the capital to work together to tackle the 'problem' of prostitution.
Authorities are expecting a sharp rise in the number of brothels and prostitutes in London to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games, as millions of people flow into the capital.
Councillor Ann John, leader of Brent Council, led a review while in opposition into the amount of brothels and street prostitutes operating in the borough and what measures should be taken to tackle the 'problem'.
John said she had not
appreciated the impact and scale of the problem of prostitution before undertaking the council study, and called on others to take it more seriously than it has been in the past. She said: Perhaps we should be rethinking our attitude towards it. It's
not legal so why are we tolerating it? I have asked for it to be a policing priority, I have asked other services to make sure we get support to exiting prostitutes.
John's study called on all newspapers to ban adverts for adult services, or
at least take more editorial control over what is printed, but she said this advice has not been adopted. She said: I am a bit disappointed nothing has happened about that. It is difficult to get hard evidence, and difficult to survey punters, but one
of the reasons advertising in local newspapers is so high [in Brent] is because of the sporting venues, and other boroughs don't get as much.
She added in one week she counted more than 100 adverts offering adult services in the two
local newspapers still carrying them, including some which mentioned race as part of the deal – something which is banned.
Work on tackling prostitution in Brent has now been taken up by the crime prevention strategy group, in conjunction with the
A leading expert on prostitution has insisted that Britain would have fewer murders if the sex industry was decriminalised.
His comments come after Prime Minister David Cameron said it may be time to look again at the UK's sex laws, in the
wake of three killings in Bradford.
Professor Basil Donovan, the head of the Sexual Health Department at the University of New South Wales, has seen the effect of legalising sex work - the Australian state decriminalised prostitution 15 years ago.
New South Wales has around 300 council approved brothels, 200 of them in Sydney. He said making the industry legal, makes it safer for all those involved.
Decriminalisation results in a healthier sex industry, which means that if your
son or your husband sneaks off to the brothel at night, he's far more likely to come home healthy.
The cases of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV have fallen, with prostitutes able to get condoms for free through government agencies.
Professor Donovan told Sky News sex workers are more likely to cooperate with police investigations, if they are not threatened with prosecution.
You couldn't get a Steve Wright situation in New South Wales, he said. Wright murdered five
women in Ipswich in 2006. Prof Donovan said the Wright case was made worse because you had an industry which was terrified of the police and gave them criminal status . The professor continued: One of the things criminal status does is it
depersonalises people. People lose their rights to protection by the state.
Here's the (unofficial?) list of award winners for 2010.
Congratulations to all.
Best stand in the Show - Fever Best R18 DVD - Fallen - Wicked Pictures Best gay R18 DVD - Young British Hoodies 2 - Rentboy UK Best
Adult Product - We-Vibe II Best Consumable - ID. Glide Best Film Brand - TVX Best Gay Film Brand - Eurocreme Best Sex Toy Brand - Fetish Fantasy Best Erotic Book Brand - Excite Books Best Erotic Clothing Brand - Cottelli Best
R18 DVD Distributor - Erigo Best Erotic Goods Distributor - Net 1 on 1 Best Overseas Distributor - Scala Best Lingerie Distributor - Blue Moon Best Retail Chain - Nice N Naughty Best Individual Store - Soho Original (Brewer St) Best Online Retailer - Love Honey
Best Online Resource - Melonfarmers.co.uk Best online Affilate Programme - Net 1 on 1 Innovation in Adult - Sex in the Shower Best Sales Team - ABS Services to the Industry - Jane Bowles
An inquiry into sex trafficking in Scotland is asking punters who use prostitutes to talk to them - in secret.
Baroness Helena Kennedy, who is heading the probe, said men who buy sex can help build a realistic picture of the extent of the trade.
Kennedy said: I want to hear from these men. I need to hear directly from people who have experiences of trafficking. I think if you want to have a proper sense of the problem, it is better to hear from witnesses themselves
It might be they are men who have used prostitutes and they have had an experience where they have been with a woman who was clearly coerced into prostitution. We need help to understand the scope of the
problem but those who can do that are often the very people who, through shame or fear, don't want to step forward. We will guarantee them absolute anonymity.
The probe will focus on Scotland but will have an impact on policy across the UK.
It is the most far-reaching study of trafficking in Britain.
It will look at ways in which the country can tackle the hyped problem of trafficking, from policing and border control to how well victims are supported when they are found.
Kennedy and her team have talked to police, voluntary organisations and experts but want to widen their evidence-gathering over the coming months to punters and the victims of trafficking themselves.
The inquiry is being run by the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland and, although all trafficking will be covered, the emphasis will be on the women and children brought in for sex.
Police have reported an increase in the demand
for foreign women from men buying sex. She said: Senior police officers do think that there has been a shift. Perhaps because men are travelling much more, certainly on stag weekends and buying sex abroad. They are experiencing sex
in a more exotic way, activities that they don't participate in with their wives and partners. It becomes something that they want here.
Kennedy said that, contrary to speculation, the inquiry wasn't rooted in Scotland because we have a
disproportionate scale of trafficking. She said: The truth is, we just don't know the size of the problem because this hasn't been done before. And what makes it a substantial problem? Fifty, 100 women? If we were talking about the
sexual abuse of children, we would never consider any number acceptable. If this is happening at all and it is, we have to ask, how do we prevent it?
A final report from the probe will be out next year.
If you thought you could hide your extreme porn stash in a secluded location north of the border – think again. For this week, the Scottish Parliament finally fell into line with its English counterpart south of the border, passing
laws - included within the Criminal Justice Bill - making it a criminal offence to possess images that were extreme and pornographic in nature.
Like the English law on this topic, passed in May 2008, the Scottish law
will focus on images that are realistic, pornographic and of an extreme nature.
In addition, however, the Scottish law adds an extra clause, bringing within this Bill images which are believed to depict rape or
other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity .