The London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has just initiated a wide ranging public consultation on measures targetting violence against women and girls (VAWG). This covers domestic violence, religious violence, female genital mutilation,
gang related violence, prostitution and trafficking.
For some bizarre reason the chapters on prostitution and trafficking are based on a report commissioned from the extremist anti-prostitution campaigners of Eaves.
Their report predictably comes to all the usual conclusions that men should be locked up for anything related to sex.
It seems a shame for the Mayor's Office to taint an important consultation with one sided views. However it has toned down some of the text pasted in from the Eaves report. Eg Eaves writing that 'men should be criminalised for buying sex' has been toned
down to 'men should be criminalised for buying sex from exploited sex workers'
The Eaves report, which must be taken with a pinch of salt, says there has been a recent and rapid rise in the number of women selling sex on the capital's streets. Prostitution is still a thriving industry in many of London's boroughs.
The paper recommends measures intended to address the growing problem including the decriminalisation of those who sell sex and the wiping of their criminal records. This, authors argue, would remove a significant barrier to exiting the sex industry, as
records of past offences can hinder job prospects. But of course they also suggest police target buyers not the women.
As part of the study, data on the number of prostitution-related offences was obtained from the Metropolitan Police. Tower Hamlets had the most arrests (42), between June 2011 and May 2012. Lambeth and Ealing were close behind, with 38 and 21 arrests