MPs called yesterday for new laws to criminalise people who buy sex
MPs called yesterday for new laws to criminalise people who buy sex.
A report by the all-party parliamentary group on prostitution and the global sex trade (APPG) recommended the move after finding current legislation "fails to protect the vulnerable."
In the report, Redbridge Council head of crime partnerships Mark Benbow said: "The police do the easy part, which is target the women involved, rather than the more difficult, which is the men behind it."
The APPG said that an array of laws on prostitution should be replaced with "a general offence for the purchase of sexual services."
But the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) was shocked that "at a time when benefit cuts and sanctions, lowering wages, increased homelessness and debt are forcing more women into prostitution, the best that MPs can come up with is to increase criminalisation."
ECP spokeswoman Cari Mitchell said: "These proposals will further divert police time and resources from investigating rape, trafficking and other violent crimes to policing consenting sex."
Sex Worker Open University national coordinator Toni MacAdams added: "Sex worker rights campaigners call for full decriminalisation of sex worker and their clients, as recommended by UN Women, the World Health Organisation and Amnesty International."
But APPG chair and Luton South MP Gavin Shuker remained "unconvinced by claims to a right by men to access sex on demand."
Criminalising prostitution users in Britain would mean introducing legislation similar to the Nordic model used in Norway and Iceland.