Parliament has passed a number of laws dealing with prostitution. I did a post about the most recent change – now a section of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 – some months ago on Lords of the Blog. The overwhelming majority of readers felt that the change was inadequate and didn’t really get to the heart of the issue. In many respects, it is a subject that the parties prefer to avoid. There is an unwillingness to consider whether a radical change is necessary.
In response to my earlier post on issues for the new Parliament, Carl.H raised the subject and wrote:
“Prostitution will not go away as some would like, it can be driven underground putting far more girls and boys at risk. It needs legalising, not a blind eye turned to businesses that are prepared to pay tax and be above board. There is a myriad of things that can be done once the industry is legal such as health certification and ensuring girls and boys can legitimately work in the UK.”
Is this the way to go? Would legalising it and, in effect, being able to police it address the issue of forced prostitution and, if based on specified premises, remove some of the problems faced in residential areas? Should we go down the same route as New Zealand, as recommended by some readers on Lords of the Blog? Or should we go to the other extreme and introduce much tougher legislation?