Having sent members of her staff earlier this year to see how Sweden has been curtailing prostitution, our Home Secretary has started to unveil the Government's proposals. It seems that the emphasis is to fine heavily and criminalise the 'punter' and to 'name and shame' kerb crawlers' for even going once round the block. I find this slightly odd when the Home Secretary's aim is stated as a process "designed to crack down on pimps, drug dealers and people traffickers.' This smacks of kicking the cat when the dog messes on the carpet as the Police will find it an easier option to arrest 'punters' than investigate and arrest people traffickers, drug dealers or pimps.
I utterly abhor pimping, drug dealing and people trafficking but is this the answer? Prostitution encompasses a wide spectrum of motives for selling sexual favours and perhaps the German model of licenced, safe, willing, tax-paying prostitutes plying their business in licenced brothels is perhaps a more sensible solution to the problem. If we were less hypocritical about prostitution we could perhaps eradicate the criminal involvement.
How odd it is that The Home Secretary is about to make a new category of criminal and 'name and shame' kerb crawlers', when young thugs who gang-raped a teenager in London or almost killed a young man in Ramsgate are guarranteed anonymity by the full force of the law. I would prefer to know about the violent, vicious young men in my area than the rather sad clients of prostitutes.