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21st December   

Israel Goes Mean Minded...

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Bill to penalise buying sex
Link Here

Israel flagAlthough the Israeli sex trade is said to generate billions of dollars of profit a year, with as many as a million visits to prostitutes each month, the Knesset is adopting a mean minded approach to would-be clients of Israel's flourishing prostitution market.

MK Orit Zuarets (Kadima), chairwoman of the Committee against the Trafficking of Women, filed a bill Sunday that would make the act of hiring a prostitute illegal in Israel.

The significance of placing criminal responsibility on sex trade customers is that it regards prostitution as a forbidden phenomenon that is illegitimate and is rejected by society, explained Zuarets.

Zuarets has initiated a bill that would prohibit consuming sexual services and would allow courts to try sex trade consumers. The bill has won wide support, and is being co-sponsored by 25 MKs from across the political spectrum.

As an amendment to the penal code, Zuarets's legislation would place a possible sentence of up to six months in prison for a sex customer. Any customer found guilty for the first time would be offered the alternative of a community rehabilitation plan, whereas a repeat customer found guilty more than once will not have the option of participating in the community plan.

Prostitution in Israel is currently legal, whereas the accompanying crimes, including pimping, running brothels, publishing sex advertisements and trading in women, are all criminal offenses. But legislators claimed that the law was never sufficiently efficient in reducing these phenomena in any significant manner.

Legislators and anti-trafficking organizations were not alone in their support for Zuarets's bill. One of the preeminent rabbis of the national religious movement, Rabbi Yuval Sherlow, the head of the Petah Tikvah Hesder Yeshiva wrote an opinion supporting according to Jewish law the imprisonment of a man who has hired the services of a prostitute. MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home) had requested Sherlow's opinion on the subject, and Sherlow wrote in support of the measure, but opposed placing sole responsibility on the customer.

 

18th December   

A Waste of Police Time and Money...

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Margo MacDonald to oppose mean minded legislation
Link Here

Margo MacDonaldMargo MacDonald is set to mount a new bid to change the law on prostitution if campaigners attempt to ban the sex trade.

The Independent Lothians MSP said a drive spearheaded by Glasgow to make it illegal to buy or sell sex or allow premises to be used for such purposes was a waste of time and money .

Labour MSP Trish Godman plans to table an amendment outlawing the buying and selling of sex to the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill currently being considered by MSPs.

Ms MacDonald said if the proposal was made, she would put forward an amendment which would seek to make any offence associated with prostitution a public nuisance offence .

 

10th December   

Comment: Mean Minded in Scotland...


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Jim Coleman in campaign to criminalise buying sex in Scotland
Link Here

End Prostitution NowJames Coleman, the mean minded deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, is at the forefront of the End Prostitution Now initiative, which - according to the city council - has attracted support from MSPs, fellow councillors, unions and religious nutters.

The campaign aims to criminalise the purchase of sex, and move the focus onto the men who create the demand of prostitution by buying sex.

Posters highlighting the experience of men who have paid for sex are a feature of the new initiative. The campaign is pushing for amendments to proposed and existing legislation which will create a range of offences designed to target the purchase of sex.

West Renfrewshire MSP Trish Godman is one of the supporters. She will be pledging her support to the campaign by proposing legislative amendments in the Scottish Parliament in the coming weeks.

Comment: Pathetic narrow minded people

From Shaun on the Melon Farmers Forum

I just sent that Scottish web site this:

You SHOULD be providing your COUNCIL TAX PAYERS with the services they desire, not pushing for this repressive regulation imposed on FREEBORN men and women who wish to make FREE choices about sex matters in a FREE (?) country. What people do, consensually should have NOTHING to do with you even if one chooses to pay the other it is NONE of your business. Myths lies ? Yes the amount of people trafficked for this purposes is one great myth isn't it ? How many people have been prosecuted ? Some poeple have no choice other than to use the services of a sex worker. For example a badly disfigured person or one with personality problems. They still have their urges. What do they do ? Your stupid Scottish prudery makes NO PROVISION for them does it ? Disablity discrimination ?

You pathetic narrow minded people make me utterly sick I'll tell you.

So what if someone goes back to their wife or husband for that matter. Perhaps they do it with the AGREEMENT of their wife. Perhaps for whatever reason she cannot fulfil the marital role any more, and this is a solution for the couple concerned. What really has it to do with you ?

Comment: Modern-day, wannabe witch-hunters

From Janus17 on the Melon Farmers Forum

I'm an ENGLISH MALE who has been with numerous high class escort girls in his time because he has a spanking fetish that would remain unfulfilled had he not crossed over to the Dark Side of prostitution. I always aim to be as charming, considerate, gentle, generous and polite to the girls I see as I am towards everyone else I meet in my normal life, if not more so. It must have paid off, because for some bizarre reason, TWICE in my experience, girls have left the escorting scene and have continued to see me to be spanked on a fairly regular basis, with me being their only client (still a paying client, naturally - I'm not THAT charming!).

Now, would someone please tell me how this is the only choice in prostitution when the aforementioned girls have CHOSEN to give up every client except me? How it is harmful when the girls have given up escorting but still want to go on seeing me - do they like being harmed or something? There are way too many holes in this plot to pick them apart here, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Let's get this straight. Unlike the creators of this deranged website, I am not some Walter Mitty-type fantasist who is making up tales just to prick up people's ears. I am mature and level-headed enough to acknowledge that prostitution in the UK is multi-faceted, and yes, there are people who enter into it without their full consent, who are exploited, and who need help. I have never and would never use the services of such a person. It's time that these modern-day, wannabe witch-hunters who wish to criminalise ALL punters were made aware of this, plus the fact which they seem so hellbent on dismissing - that their actions make it less safe for EVERYONE who works within the sex industry.

This is why I'm in the early stages of putting together a book of my experiences, to tell it from an insiders perspective. I'm sick to death of feminazis and self-publicising pricks in this country with no experience or knowledge of a particular subject being given free reign to spout lies, made-up statistics, anecdotal evidence and being able to control legislation which affects the lives of thousands of other people (this applies to so much NuLabour legislation, from the DPA to the relentless negativity surrounding the videogames industry), with seemingly no-one there to challenge them.

So this is me throwing down the gauntlet. It's time we punters had a voice, and the truth was heard. We are NOT all rapists, abusers and perverts. Anyone with firsthand experience of punting who'd like to get in touch and speak out against this nonsense (anonymously if your personal circumstances necessitate it), please let me know. I'm all for stamping out coercion and abuse, but I'm damned if I'm going to sit here and be legislated against (AGAIN!!!) by a rotten bunch of would-be Communists without at last chucking something back in their general direction.

 

1st December   

Update: Green Light to Red Light Law...

Marbella to outlaw street prostitution
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Spain...Debating the regularisation of prostitution

Spanish flagThe government of Marbella gave green light to a new regulation, which among other things, would prohibit the offering and demand of sexual services in the the street, i.e. prostitution.

The new regulation claims to be in response to neighbourhood requests.

 

21st November   

Trafficking in Exaggeration...

Nonsense claims of scale of trafficking debated in Irish Parliament
Link Here

Houses of the Oireachtas Over 1,000 men pay for sex in Ireland every day, according to Fine Gael's Denis Naughten.

In a Dáil debate on a Fine Gael motion aimed at stamping out people trafficking, he said that 97% of the 1,000 women believed to be involved in indoor prostitution were migrants.

The Fine Gael Private members motion criticises Government policy and calls for an urgent examination of our prostitution laws.

Naughten said changes to the law on prostitution in the UK could push illegal traffickers out of Northern Ireland and into the Republic, making us a red light country.

His party colleague Simon Coveney said prostitution would never be eradicated entirely, but if we were to help those people who were trafficked in here, then those who paid for prostitution had to be criminalised.

He said it had been claimed that trafficking produced €15.5 billion in profits during 2005, so it was probably higher now. Most of them were aged between 18 and 24 years and in this country, most were women.

The Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, denied allegations that the gardaí or the national immigration unit were not doing enough to target people traffickers.

 

19th November   

Social Evils Prevention Department...

Vietnam to increase fines for buyers of sex
Link Here

Vietnam flag Bigger fines for the clients of prostitutes have been urged in a clampdown effort by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The proposal, to be put to the National Assembly, had the support of the chairmen of provincial People's Committees, the ministry said.

The fines had yet to be defined, but would be several times higher than the current fines for clients of up to VND1 million (US$55.50) the first time and up to VND5 million($277) the second time, the ministry said.

As the law stands, convictions are reported to the clients' employer, which could result in loss of respect, disgrace or even sacking.

The ministry's Social Evils Prevention Department said more than 160 prostitution cases had been investigated since the beginning of the year, mostly in HCM City, Ha Noi, Hai Phong and provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Ben Tre.

While the number appeared low, it was nearly 60 per cent higher than the same period last year.

However, prostitution appears far more prevalent than the figures show. The Ministry of Public Security inspected 5,000 communes and found evidence of prostitution in 1,350.

Department policy unit head Do Thi Ninh Xuan said punishments were currently aimed at the prostitutes, while the clients were let off lightly.

This made control and prevention of prostitution difficult, she said. It was necessary to shift the focus to the clients.

Under the present law, only people convicted of paying money for sex with someone under 18 years old could be punished severely, she said. They could be jailed for 5-15 years.

Xuan said when clients were caught they would say they did not carry ID to avoid having their employer informed, but no one was responsible for following up to see their IDs.

 

17th November   

Two Jailed for Buying Sex in 10 Years...

Sweden's laws banning paid sex not mean enough
Link Here

Sweden flag Although it has been illegal to pay for sex in Sweden for ten years, only two people have been sentenced to prison for violating Swedish laws criminalizing the purchasing of sexual services.

In addition, 228 people have been fined under the law, according to Sveriges Television (SVT).

According to the law, people who pay for sex can be punished with up to six months in prison, but so far the harshest penalty has yet to be meted out.

There are also large differences in the number of people indicted for buying sex from one part of the country to another. In several areas, not a single charge has been filed since the law came into force.

Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask said that a lack of indictments in parts of the country and only two prison sentences nationwide points to the need for changes in the law.

It remains to be seen, after all of the cases have been thoroughly analyzed, but that sounds like very few cases for such a long time. That likely indicates that the rules are in need of modernization, she told SVT.

A government-appointed commission is currently reviewing Sweden's current laws which outlaw the purchase of sexual services.

 

15th November   

Offsite: The Only Thing Being Trafficked is Government Bollox...

The myth of Britain's foreign sex slaves
Link Here
Jacqui Smith

   a great success!

For years ministers have insisted that thousands of women are being smuggled into Britain and forced into prostitution. But when police staged a multi-million pound operation to smash the gangs, how many traffickers did they find? Not one

The overblown language was more red-top tabloid than heavyweight Government announcement. Issued by the Home Office, the press release bragged about the success of the largest-ever police crackdown on human trafficking - one of the worst crimes threatening our society .

Breathlessly it went on to detail how women were being brought to this country and then sold as commodities for the purposes of sexual exploitation .

But now, it continued, thanks to nationwide police operation Pentameter 2, a staggering 528 criminals involved in this abhorrent crime had been arrested.

At its core, this operation was about striking a blow against one of the most distressing aspects of serious and organised crime in this country - that of people-trafficking for sexual exploitation, said Dr Tim Brain, Chief Constable of Gloucestershire and the man who headed the operation, announcing the figures in July 2008.

Also keen to weigh in with her observations was the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. Pentameter 2 has been a great success, she said: I would commend all those involved who have made a real impact in rescuing victims and bringing to justice those who exploit them.

As intended, the media lapped it up, encouraged by Dr Brain's claim that the number of trafficked sex workers in Britain was actually 18,000 - five times more than previous highest estimates.

No doubt the Home Office was delighted with the coverage its press release achieved. But not any more. Fifteen months on and those words have come back to haunt them with a vengeance.

Last month, an investigation by the Guardian newspaper disclosed what Pentameter 2 had really achieved - the conviction of not one genuine sex trafficker.

...Read the full article

 

14th November   

Update: Britain Another Notch More Miserable...

Law passed to randomise and criminalise paying for sex
Link Here
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UK courts are being prepared to handle
the new law

New measures to repress the public, increase police power and tackle crime and disorder were welcomed today by the Home Secretary Alan Johnson after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent.

New measures include the introduction of a mandatory code of practice for alcohol retailers, the creation of a new offence of paying for sex with a prostitute who has been coerced or deceived and the power for police and local authorities to apply for injunctions against people involved in gang-related violence.

Further measures include:

  • Giving greater powers to Local Authorities to restrict the opening and regulation of lap-dancing clubs;
  • Strengthening police powers to deal with young people drinking alcohol in public;
  • * Lowering the number of times premises can sell alcohol to young people before incurring a penalty and toughening the penalties for those premises;
  • * Making sure that those subject to football banning orders in England and Wales are also banned from attending regulated football matches in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
     
  • Increasing police powers to close premises associated with prostitution and pornography related offences for a set period;
  • Protecting vulnerable individuals by increasing the maximum duration of foreign travel orders, requiring those sex offenders banned from travelling anywhere abroad to surrender their passport, and increasing the penalty for the offence of failing to provide access to suspected encrypted indecent photographs of children;
  • Increasing the efficiency of the Criminal Records Bureau, and make amendments to strengthen the working of the new Vetting and Barring Scheme.
     
  • Making a number of small amendments to clarify HM Revenue and Customs powers;
  • Strengthening the arrangements for recovery of assets obtained through criminal means;
  • Improving the efficiency of arrangements for judicial co-operation between UK and its international partners.
     
  • Enhancing inter-agency co-operation in establishing airport security arrangements with greater clarity of roles and responsibilities;
  • Introducing a systematic regular assessment of how threats to airports are being mitigated;
  • Enhancing airport security planning at UK airports both locally and nationally as Airport Security Plans will help ensure more effective deployment of resources to mitigate threats;
  • Bringing in a consistent funding process for dedicated police activities at airports that ensures police authorities are reimbursed by airport operators for agreed dedicated policing costs, in turn benefiting the taxpayer.

 

11th November   

End Demand Illinois...

Nutter Illinois sheriff unilaterally persecutes prostitute's customers
Link Here

Illinois state seal The nutter sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, is taking a page from the Swedish welfare state in revising his approach to prostitution.

Loudly applauding his eight-month-old experiment is End Demand Illinois (EDI), a coalition of nonprofits that aims to extend the reform statewide and eventually see it replicated across the country.

What Sheriff Tom Dart has done is shift enforcement resources from the supply side to the demand side: from arresting (and releasing and re-arresting) women and girls to arresting pimps and customers and impounding their cars, while directing the prostituted females to social services.

Last week a U.S. district judge threw out another part of Dart's new strategy: a lawsuit against Craigslist for the hazard created by its online want ads offering erotic and adult services-.

 

9th November   

Trafficking in Police Bollox...

Miserable Swedish police lecture Ireland about criminalising the buying of sex
Link Here

Ireland A Swedish police officer told a Dublin conference other countries should emulate miserable Scandinavian laws targeting men who swap cash for sex.

Soliciting, kerb-crawling and operating brothels are illegal in Ireland but men can exchange money with a prostitute in private without breaking any laws.

Det Insp Jonas Trolle, from the Stockholm Police Department, claimed those using prostitutes were supporting and financing international criminal gangs: If you want to fight against trafficking in human beings you have to start with the demand, he said.

It is thought there are 1,000 women involved in prostitution in Ireland at any one time, with 800 being advertised on the internet.

Under the Swedish law, introduced in 1999, a man caught buying sex will be hit with a fine based on their income, with penalties ranging from €1,500 to €7,000.

Trolle said that before the clampdown there were around 100 prostitutes on the streets of Stockholm, dropping to roughly 20 now.

The detective inspector, who heads a trafficking unit in the Swedish capital, said targeting the demand for sex squeezes profits for pimps and drives operators out of the country. He claimed the law was widely accepted in Sweden, with around 80% of the public backing the legislation.

Norway, Iceland and Finland have adopted versions of the legislation and Trolle said he hopes both Ireland and the UK will consider similar models.

 

8th November   

Ruining the Lives of Consenting Adults...

MEP speaks against the criminalisation of men who buy sex
Link Here

A North West MEP wants the House of Lords to throw out legislation that he says would put more women in danger or in prison by further criminalising prostitution.

Next Wednesday, November 11, the House of Lords is due to consider the Policing and Crime Bill which will introduce new penalties for women involved in sex work as well as their clients.

Longstanding campaigner for legalisation and regulation of prostitution Chris Davies MEP is claiming that the Government has made up statistics and that new laws will drive prostitution underground where there is less safety for them women involved.

Davies said: Police resources that could be used to tackle violent men and people trafficking will instead be used to ruin the lives of consenting adults.

There is something badly wrong with legislation that is more concerned with making the Prime Minister feel morally superior than making women safer and reducing the anti-social side of sex work in local communities.

Prostitutes should be allowed to work together for their own protection and they should be able to look to the Police for help not prosecution.

The police should be going after men who assault sex workers and people who seek to control their lives, not after women and men who are making a free and consenting choice.

 

7th November   

Update: Falling for the Trafficking Hype...

Netherlands set to criminalise some buyers of sex
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

Netherlands Clients of unlicensed prostitutes in the Netherlands may in future risk prosecution under a proposed new law, the cabinet said.

The draft law, yet to be approved by parliament, will make it compulsory for prostitutes to go through a registration process.

Municipalities will decide how many brothels to allow in their borders, and where.

Prostitutes will become liable for prosecution if they work without the required registration, or in a business with no permit, said the statement.

Clients who make use of the services of illegal prostitutes can be prosecuted, because by doing so they help sustain a form of prostitution in which abuses and exploitation are more difficult to prevent.

Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since 2000, but only brothels and businesses letting out streetside windows to prostitutes have hitherto required municipal authorisation.

 

6th November   

Update: Miserable Governor...

Rhode Island criminalisation of indoor prostitution takes immediate effect
Link Here

Rhode Island logo Rhode Island Governor, Don Carcieri, has signed legislation making indoor prostitution illegal.

The bills signed Tuesday end Rhode Island's status as the only state that allowed indoor prostitution statewide. The practice is legal in parts of Nevada. The new law took effect immediately.

Carcieri praised the new law as a step forward and said it ended Rhode Island's terrible distinction.

 

31st October   

Update: Miserable Rhode Island...

Rhode Island lawmakers pass bill to criminalise indoor prostitution
Link Here

Rhode Island logo Rhode Island Senate lawmakers have approved the bill to make prostitution a misdemeanor offense regardless of where it occurs. Prostitutes would face a maximum six-month prison sentence for a first offense, while their customers could face up to a year.

The bill now goes to the state Governor for approval into law.

Rhode Island is the only state, besides parts of Nevada, that currently allows indoor prostitution. More than two dozen brothels are now operating across the state.

 

30th October   

Update: No Fun in Ondara...

Spanish town proposes to fine sex workers and customers
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Spain...Debating the regularisation of prostitution

Spanish flag With a new by-law which comes into force next month, Granada becomes the first town in Andalucía to introduce fines for street prostitution.

Ondara on the Costa Blanca has now followed their example and will be voting at a council meeting next week on its own by-law with fines for anyone who offers, solicits, negotiates or accepts, directly or indirectly, sexual services on the public way .

The fines range from 80 up to 500 €, but sexual relations taking place in the street will be considered a very serious offence and could be fined by as much as 2,000 €.

The local Town Hall told El Mundo newspaper that the measure will only be applied to those who re-offend knowing that the ban is in place, adding that the municipal social services department is on hand to help and advise any prostitutes who work locally who want to give up their profession.

Update: In Force in Granada

11th November 2009. See article from etaiwannews.com

The southern Spanish city of Granada has started imposing fines on street prostitutes and their clients in a rare crackdown on a profession that lies in legal limbo.

City councilor Eduardo Moral says the new municipal order that went into effect Tuesday imposes fines of up to $4,500 for soliciting or offering sex within 200 meters (660 feet) of a school, residential area, shopping center or business complex.

Outside that limit, the fine can be as much as $1,100.

 

29th October   

Update: Miserable Rhode Island...

Rhode Island lawmakers approve bill to criminalise indoor prostitution
Link Here

Rhode Island logo Rhode Island House lawmakers have approved a bill banning indoor prostitution .

A spokesperson has confirmed that the bill passed by a vote of 58 to 9.

The legislation makes prostitution a misdemeanor crime, with a maximum punishment of one year in prison.

The senate is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.

 

27th October   

Just Want to Get Laid...

Prostitution returns to Norway's streets despite a ban on buying sex
Link Here

Norway flag The number of foreign prostitutes on Oslo streets is nearly back to what it was before the ban on the purchase of sex services was introduced last year, public broadcaster NRK reports.

Figures compiled by the Oslo Pro Centre shows that the number of prostitutes on Oslo streets is again at the level of two years ago. It is now nearly one year since the ban on the purchase of sexual services was put into effect.

Leader of the Centre, Liv Jessen, says to NRK that she is surprised at the number, and the fact that so many are from Nigeria.

The Pro Centre (Pro Sentret) is a Norwegian national resource centre on all matters related to prostitution and a health and social service centre for women and men in prostitution. Founded in 1983 and financed by the Municipality of Oslo and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the Pro Centre is run by the Municipality of Oslo.

 

20th October   

The Only Thing Being Trafficked is Government Bollox...

UK police spend 6 months raiding 822 brothels and don't find a single trafficker who had forced anybody into prostitution
Link Here
Jacqui Smith

   a great success!

The UK's biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.

The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.

Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.

While some prosecutions have been made, the Guardian investigation suggests the number of people who have been brought into the UK and forced against their will into prostitution is much smaller than claimed; and that the problem of trafficking is one of a cluster of factors which expose sex workers to coercion and exploitation.

Acting on the distorted information, the government has produced a bill, now moving through its final parliamentary phase, which itself has provoked an outcry from sex workers who complain that, instead of protecting them, it will expose them to extra danger.

When police in July last year announced the results of Operation Pentameter Two, Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, hailed it as a great success . Its operational head, Tim Brain, said it had seriously disrupted organised crime networks responsible for human trafficking. The figures show how successful we have been in achieving our goals, he said.

Those figures credited Pentameter with arresting 528 criminals associated with one of the worst crimes threatening our society . But an internal police analysis of Pentameter, obtained by the Guardian after a lengthy legal struggle, paints a very different picture.

The analysis, produced by the police Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield and marked restricted , suggests there was a striking shortage of sex traffickers to be found in spite of six months of effort by all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together with the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish government, the Crown Prosecution Service and various NGOs in what was trumpeted as the largest ever police crackdown on human trafficking .

Arrests announced but never happened 122
Arrested but released without charge 106
Arrested but released after caution 47
   
Charged, non trafficking, not convicted 110
Charged, non trafficking, convicted 76
   
Charged, trafficking offences, not convicted 52
   
Convicted, transporting willing sex workers 15
Convicted, transporting coerced sex workers 0
   

Total reported arrests: a great success !

528

The analysis reveals that 10 of the 55 police forces never found anyone to arrest. And 122 of the 528 arrests announced by police never happened: they were wrongly recorded either through honest bureaucratic error or apparent deceit by forces trying to chalk up arrests which they had not made. Among the 406 real arrests, more than half of those arrested (230) were women, and most were never implicated in trafficking at all.

Of the 406 real arrests, 153 had been released weeks before the police announced the success of the operation: 106 of them without any charge at all and 47 after being cautioned for minor offences. Most of the remaining 253 were not accused of trafficking: 73 were charged with immigration breaches; 76 were eventually convicted of non-trafficking offences involving drugs, driving or management of a brothel; others died, absconded or disappeared off police records.

Although police described the operation as the culmination of months of planning and intelligence-gathering from all those stakeholders involved , the reality was that, during six months of national effort, they found only 96 people to arrest for trafficking, of whom 67 were charged.

Only 22 people were finally prosecuted for trafficking, including two women who had originally been rescued as supposed victims. Seven of them were acquitted. The end result was that, after raiding 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours all over the UK, Pentameter finally convicted of trafficking a grand total of only 15 men and women.

Police claimed that Pentameter used the international definition of sex trafficking contained in the UN's Palermo protocol, which involves the use of coercion or deceit to transport an unwilling man or woman into prostitution. But, in reality, Pentameter used a very different definition, from the UK's 2003 Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to transport a man or woman into prostitution even if this involves assisting a willing sex worker.

Internal police documents reveal that 10 of Pentameter's 15 convictions were of men and women who were jailed on the basis that there was no evidence of their coercing the prostitutes they had worked with. There were just five men who were convicted of importing women and forcing them to work as prostitutes. These genuinely were traffickers, but none of them was detected by Pentameter, although its investigations are still continuing.

The head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, Grahame Maxwell, who is chief constable of North Yorkshire, acknowledged the importance of the figures: The facts speak for themselves. I'm not trying to argue with them in any shape or form, he said.

He said he had commissioned fresh research from regional intelligence units to try to get a clearer picture of the scale of sex trafficking. What we're trying to do is to get it gently back to some reality here, he said: It's not where you go down on every street corner in every street in Britain, and there's a trafficked individual. There are more people trafficked for labour exploitation than there are for sexual exploitation. We need to redress the balance here. People just seem to grab figures from the air.

Update: Government Still Claiming Operation Pentameter a Success

21st October 2009 See press release from press.homeoffice.gov.uk

Home Offie logo A new system to identify and support victims has dealt with nearly 150 people in its first three months, Home Office Minister Alan Campbell announced today.

New figures from the national referral mechanism, established in April 2009 as a new system to identify and aid trafficking victims, show 40 children and 108 adults have been identified by UK Border Agency officers and police as possible victims of trafficking.

The statistics were revealed as the government signalled its continued determination to crack down on trafficking, including calls for a new EU-wide strategy to tackle the problem. The annual trafficking plan published today includes:

  • more international action to target trafficking at its source
  • more training for frontline officers and judges to help ensure more traffickers are caught and punished
  • a continued focus on the Olympics, to make sure work surrounding London's 2012 games remains free from the scourge of trafficking.

The Home Office Minister, Alan Campbell said:

The plan builds on anti-trafficking work over the last three years, which has seen the establishment of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, the successful national operation pentameter and the ratification of the European convention on human trafficking.

Notes to editors:

Operation pentameter was launched in two waves over 2006 and 2007. The UK's largest ever clampdown on trafficking saw 255 victims identified, more than 750 arrests and more than £500,000 recovered. [...But pentameter 2 didn't find a single trafficker]

Update: Nominated for the Erotic Awards 2010: Writer

22nd May 2010. Based on article from erotic-awards.co.uk

Nick Davies was elected because of his ground-breaking piece in the Guardian on Tuesday, 20th October Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution .

Nick has won many awards. He has been named Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year for his investigations into crime, drugs, poverty and other social issues. Hundreds of journalists have attended his masterclass on the techniques of investigative reporting.

 

19th October   

Paying for Propaganda...

Irish calls for the criminalisation of buying sex
Link Here

Immigrant Council of Ireland October 18th was the EU anti-trafficking day and so the mean minded Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) has called for the criminalisation of buying sex.

Countries such as Sweden and Norway have seen a decrease in the massively over exaggerated problem of trafficking since they criminalised the purchase of sexual services. Support groups in Ireland want the government to follow the lead of those countries.

The ICI claims that those trafficked into Ireland and forced into prostitution do not have adequate help to escape the trade. Chief Executive Denise Charlton said much needs to be done to help women trying to leave the illegal sex industry: We would ask the government on the day to consider a number of provisions. Safe accommodation, quality legal representation from the point that the victim presents to ensure that the victim is given adequate residency in the country so they can reflect and recover and that they're given the opportunity to exit the sex industry .

 

12th October   

Comment: Or Otherwise Exploited...

A Trojan horse in the Policing and Crime Bill could criminalise the buyers of sex
Link Here

English Collective of Prostitutes logo The situation with Policing & Crime Bill is now desperate. 

The amendment made after 3rd Reading in the Commons, or otherwise exploited , could be a Trojan Horse to get the section through the Lords stages, and then introduce a re-interpretation of this phrase to widen the scope, one the Lords hurdles have been passed.

The Government has done this before and it is keen on using secondary legislation, and changes of definition to get what it wants past Parliamentary opposition.

See: www.prostitutescollective.net , which is leading the opposition to this restrictive legislation. It has model letters, which your visitors can send, or they can at least see the other side of the argument to that put by the Government.

The current wording being debated is:

Section 13 Paying for sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force etc: England and Wales

After section 53 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 42) insert—

53A Paying for sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force etc.

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a) A makes or promises payment for the sexual services of a prostitute (B),

(b) a third person (C) has used force, deception or threats of a kind likely to induce or encourage B to provide the sexual services for which A has made or promised payment, and

(c) C acted for or in the expectation of gain for C or another person (apart from A or B).

(2) The following are irrelevant—

(a) where in the world the sexual services are to be provided and whether those services are provided,

(b) whether A is, or ought to be, aware that C has used force, deception or threats.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(4) For the purposes of this section force includes coercion by threats or other psychological means including exploitation of vulnerability.

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