[Stop-traffic] News/UK: Cities take initiative to combat sex trade

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/UK: Cities take initiative to combat sex trade
Date: Thu Jan 04 2001 - 21:03:14 EST



Cities take initiative to combat sex trade
Published: December 19 2000 18:26GMT | Last Updated: December 19 2000 18:32GMT

The problems caused by prostitution take a variety of forms and are
tackled in different ways by regional authorities and police forces.


Prostitution in the capital is strongly linked to international
organised crime. About 60 per cent of prostitutes come from east
European countries, many of them illegal immigrants working in a "sex
slave trade" run by dangerous criminal gangs.

The problem of prostitutes advertising in telephone boxes has reached
extreme proportions in central London. Last week, the government
announced plans for legislation, following strong lobbying by London
business and tourism organisations.

London's multiplicity of local authorities means there is no single
policy on the control of prostitution.


Home Office money will help pay for support services for women trying
to get out of prostitution. "The latest funding will allow us to
extend our exit strategy to help prostitutes get off the streets,"
said Sue Murphy, a councillor and chairman of the city's Prostitution
Forum, linking local agencies, the council and police.The forum has
agreed a strategy with local newspapers which publish the names of
men prosecuted for activities such as kerb crawling.


Home Office funding will allow the city to provide one-to-one
counselling to help young women and girls "make better choices about
their lives", said Julie Tasker, Sheffield's community safety officer.

Sheffield council wants to license saunas and massage parlours in an
attempt to enforce health checks and other forms of regulation among


A survey of 120 prostitutes found that all were addicted to either
drugs or alcohol. On Tuesday, the Bristol Prostitution Forum, which
carried out the survey, won 100,000 for its Pandora Project which
aims to educate and help prostitutes.

Between May and November this year, there were 57 reported attacks
against prostitutes in the city, according to a survey by the Bristol
Evening Post.


The Scottish executive has established a ministerial group to find
ways of reducing crimes by women, including those related to
prostitution and is considering special courts to deal with
drug-related crimes, including prostitution. In the summer, it
awarded 1.8m to provide Glasgow's estimated 1,000 prostitutes with
advice and services to support "routes out" of prostitution.

Reporting by Alan Pike, Sheila Jones, Jim Pickard and Mark Nicholson

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