11th Century laws and legal issues
The term “common prostitution “came into being in 1824, this was considered an Act of Vagrancy and subject to prosecution. So prostitutes were targeted in the eyes of the law, behaving in an indecent manner in public could lead to a fine and even imprisonment. This is when soliciting was introduced as being unlawful, although if diplomacy was adopted on behalf of the prostitute she may have been overlooked. The London police districts were given more power regarding prostitution in 1839; loitering, soliciting and being a nuisance in general would lead to arrest. This only applied in the capital; anywhere else the law had not been enforced. If the girl in question was convicted she would be fined, and if caught again the fine would increase and so on. But London was the place to be in this particular industry, clients were always available, whereas elsewhere they may not have been. London Escorts nowadays, have the freedom to move and are briefed regarding the current laws.
The rest of England was to follow in 1847; a similar law came in where soliciting in a public place became a crime. Wales also had this law introduced; the idea was to be able to control prostitution activities in the street. They were considered unruly women, and believed measures had to be taken to control this line of work.
In 1885 the Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed, parliament were under huge pressure from the public to do something more about prostitution. Child prostitution was a major issue, and understandably the government had no option but to act and enforce new laws. The new law stated no one under the age of 16 was allowed to have sexual intercourse, whereas before 13 year olds were permitted. With prostitution in operation all over the country, the public became very concerned and forced the governments hand, successfully so. An investigative report uncovered a child-prostitution ring in the heart of London; this was published by William T Stead in 1885. A crackdown on prostitution laws followed this report, the article titled “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon “had a dramatic effect on society. The escorts in London will not go into this profession with the risk of being subjected to unlawful practice, they are very professional.
Legislation in 1885 saw “Suppression of Brothels “any person connected in any way to these establishments was liable to prosecution. This new Act was a little unclear in explaining the definition of a brothel, at this time the word was still being explored, meaning-wise. In 1895 this was to become clear, the word brothel was decided upon the case concerning Singleton V Ellison. The prostitution law stated that a brothel only comes into being when more than one girl is working under the same roof.
Women like Miss Ellison escaped conviction, because she was working alone, solo women became safe, or to be more precise being independent were within the law. But furthermore the law now stated that if two prostitutes were living together, they were regarded as running a brothel between the two of them. This was however unfortunate for the landladies, who unknowingly were technically breaking the law by giving these girls a room. Renting a room from a poor landlady was common practice, but then the landlady was at risk if two or more prostitutes were present in her house. Shortage of money meant representing themselves was a problem, they could not afford to pay police bribes or legal hire defences for their trial.
There was a further crackdown on this sort of brothel, anyone owning one would be prosecuted, convictions in excess of 1,000 were recorded a year. A London escort is perfectly within the law providing the word sex is not mentioned, diplomacy and careful use of words must be applied.
The 1890’s to the 1920’s saw blocks of flats being built, individually rented rooms went to prostitutes which allowed them to live together within the law. On this basis the price of property increased, regarding commercial sex; landlords cashed in on this and charged unrealistic rent prices. Pimps, Bell boys and Cabmen became involved in this line of industry, helping prostitutes to engage clients. As street prostitution and brothels were in a vulnerable position, these third parties made the most of their endeavours. The ladies in question were exploited into paying large sums of money to be able to continue their chosen profession. Because of the industry they worked in, the prostitutes were vulnerable and had to go along with the third parties unreasonable demands.
The exploitation of women and children in prostitution was callous to say the least, between 1885 and 1922 several laws were passed to help or try to prevent this from happening. Although the involvement of the third parties continued it was the prostitute who was mostly targeted, and the law dealt with them in no uncertain terms. A new Amendment to the Vagrancy Act was passed in 1898, stating that earnings off a prostitute were an offence. Pimping became against the law, but even then these people did not get the same treatment as the prostitutes did. For example; in 1900 the figure for women being convicted regarding soliciting was 7,415, in comparison to 165 pimps being sentenced the same year.
London Escorts do not have to worry about pimps, their profession is much more organised and efficiently run.
Early to middle 20th Century
The new laws directed at brothels were not altogether full proof, in the late 19th century on – street prostitution was still very much an issue. Police did their best to control the streets but to some degree had a task on their hands, soliciting had to be proved. A woman standing in the street was not necessarily engaging in immoral activities, or that was the theory regarding the law. The statutes of 1839 and 1847 interpreting the” annoyance clause “left the police in a difficult position, arrests could still take place but prosecuting a girl was made extremely hard.
Magistrates in the 1890’s found convicting on police evidence alone a problem, and even if they did legal justice came under fire, from certain groups. The annoyance clause was administered in favour of the law, magistrates, police and the Home office decided to use this clause to their own advantage. If a police officer mentioned the annoyance clause in his statement in court, this was a way to secure a prosecution. In doing this the policeman did not have to produce any evidence, making it much easier for a magistrate to convict an individual. Street prostitution was now within the grip of the law, a crackdown followed in the early 20th century, having a big effect on the industry. The new Home Office policies today are not unlike the policies brought in all those years ago. The escorts in London are well aware of the laws, being a very profitable business it pays these girls to know any implications that may concern them.
These new laws proved very unpopular, by the First World War protests were being made loud and clear. Civil rights associations along with feminist organisations felt that these ladies were being treated unfair, stating on police evidence alone was against the principles of English Justice. The 1920s saw feminists and libertarians campaigning to expose the current laws in which these issues related, also the term “common prostitute “came under the spotlight. On the first conviction a woman was labelled, so any further court cases, this would prejudice any future trial she may attend. The labelling aspect became even more apparent when in 1917 police began fingerprinting; with the annoyance clause lifted they had the power back again. Women were not at ease in the street as they could be wrongfully arrested even though they were completely innocent, this was grossly unfair. They could be out to buy a pint of milk, and furthermore the men could be accosting them rather than the other way round. The fingerprinting procedure gave the police an unfair advantage where these women were concerned; after all we all have to go out at sometime.
To add to the weight of this argument, the ladies were held solely responsible for soliciting, while the men were left out of the public eye. This applied even if the man was guilty in the act, remaining unmentioned and unpunished was how the law operated regarding the man. London Escorts are lucky to be able to move more freely these days, in years gone by this would not have been possible.
This led to several bills entering parliament in the 20s and 30s, stating male or female and prostitute or non-prostitute would be liable to prosecution. The bill included information regarding public places, any disturbance relating to public places they would be liable to arrest and subsequent conviction. Parliament never actually passed this bill, but even so it still helped in the way the soliciting laws applied, a report in 1929 went in favour of the libertarian critics and feminists, this led to a new law being introduced. The term “common prostitute “was abolished, also anyone who disturbed the public peace for immoral purposes would be prosecuted. This new law applied to male and female, making this new bill much more acceptable.
Even after all the campaigning that was done in changing the laws, legislation regarding the Street Offences Committee in the 30s remained pretty much the same. Opposition to the laws and the police still doing what they could although frustrated at times, at least saw arrest levels remain low. Things were to stay this way during the Second World War, before anything was to change again.
Second half of the 20th Century
From 1950 onwards things were beginning to change in Britain, the state were changing their views towards its citizens. In 1956 a new Departmental Committee was appointed, their job was to look at prostitution and homosexuality. This year also saw the Government alter the prostitution law, the last being back in 1912; in fact they combined the three previous laws into one. This became the new 1956 Sexual Offences Act, 1885, 1898 and the 1912 laws were to be updated making this new law to cover the previous ones. The third -parties are still included as well in the new Act, and are still liable to prosecution. The definition for the word brothel remains the same and still stands like it did before.
The Departmental Committee in 1957 looked into the current issues regarding prostitution and homosexuality, agreeing it was not the state’s responsibility to police personal morality. The Wolfenden Report included this issue along with others relating to this section. They wanted to change the law which criminalised homosexuality, they also argued that prostitution should not be considered as immoral. However these two issues did not alter the Governments views and if anything firmer measures were taken in dealing with these subjects. The Government believed the respectable citizens should come first, being free from street prostitution, rather than allow the opposite to happen be their answer. The argument to give prostitution more acceptance and more rights did not materialise, these delicate issues are still with us today to some degree. The London Escorts know their rights, and they also know how to run their business to stay within the law.
The solicitation laws were also brought up but if anything these laws were enforced even more, the annoyance clause was no longer required. This gave the police more authority to deal with any problems in the street, this came into being to protect the general public more efficiently. The committee put forward a proposal to amalgamate the solicitation laws and various by – laws into one Act.
Another debate to take place was an argument relating to double standards for men and women, regarding the public nuisance issue. Women were seen as the most visible relating to commercial sex, mainly because of the supply element on their behalf. The term common prostitute was raised as being unjust, but the report felt any change would put innocent women at risk. These debates concerned the Wolfenden Committee and they were there to try and help, and if anything bring these issues to a better understanding.
More changes were to take place, the Street Offences Act in 1959 was to take effect, and this brought in some quite big developments. All three solicitation laws were repealed, this also applied to homosexuality as well. It was still an offence for a practising prostitute to loiter or solicit in the street, and the annoyance clause was officially removed even though it wasn’t really needed anyway. The escorts in London do not have to deal with these present changes that took place in the late 50s; their profession is safe providing diplomacy is exercised.
The new laws that came into force saw a huge crackdown on street prostitution; the 1960s witnessed as big a crackdown to be seen in the UK. At the same time escort services, massage parlours and off street prostitution were increasing in numbers. Involvement of exploitative third – parties, murder and violent attacks were taking place also, and this was predicted way back in time. The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 was pretty ruthless in their pursuit regarding brothel keepers, and ironically 3 years later gruesome killings were to take place. It may have been a coincidence when the infamous Jack the Ripper made his mark, the first serial killer to target prostitutes. Since that very unpleasant period in time, there have been many more incidents regarding prostitutes.
There is only a slight modification in these laws of 1824 and 1839 as there is today, a woman out buying a pint of milk can still be arrested today. If she is known as a” common prostitute “this can still lead to an arrest, and is then introduced as a” common prostitute “to the court before the trial begins. The policeman in this day and age need not even mention that the lady buying the milk was being a nuisance. So this law to some degree still works in a similar way, and in this present day its worth noting prostitutes can still be summoned before the court using this scenario. I don’t know if any London Escorts are aware of these laws, in any case they are not common prostitutes and are at the top of their profession.
Into the 21st Century: How things stand now
The laws in the present day are not too much different as they were all those years ago; the statute book for instance has not changed regarding many laws. I think it’s fair to mention more would have changed if these issues were not so personal; we all have a much better understanding now. For example being poor or abused may contribute to a woman taking up this profession; there could be a number of reasons as to why she may do this. The 21st Century and indeed the latter part of the last Century has witnessed so much progress, it’s become a different way of life now. Equality with women has changed the face of society, particularly where men are concerned. The term “common prostitute “ is now out of date, but the laws regarding prostitution have not moved with the times.
The London Escorts started to become established in the 1960s, since then they have gone from strength to strength. These girls are at the very top of this profession, and know exactly how to treat and deal with their customers.
The term “common prostitute “has finally been resolved, in 2006 the government decided to remove this from the statute. The solicitation laws are basically the same though, so the term being eliminated now has not altered things too much. If a woman is known as a prostitute, being on the street and soliciting would still lead to arrest. The laws regarding street – level activities are practically no different, the controversial term has been repealed but that’s about it. Policing the streets is still pretty much as it was, so there is not much change and prosecution will still take place.
The government decided to allow prostitutes to live and work together in groups of two or three, this new
Law should help to protect the women concerned. The 1885 Criminal Law Amendment took away a certain amount of freedom; a little more security may arise now in this change in law. Firstly the ladies at the poorer end of the scale may still be faced with similar consequences, continually working the streets they are still risking their necks. Secondly permitting ladies to work together, was done in an attempt to increase the welfare aspect, Simultaneously the crackdown for street prostitution will still leave the girls vulnerable, but this will continue and remain part of this industry. The escorts in London are no where near as vulnerable; their professional approach should see them continue to successfully make a good living. Pimps and Traffickers are a problem in the eyes of the law, but unless funding is forthcoming policing these people will be very difficult. With this new brothel policy in mind, is it more about out of sight therefore out of mind, or maybe an experiment to keep the streets relatively free. But at the other end of the equation is; by allowing the women to work in premises could still result in the Pimps and Traffickers benefiting from this. Finding a loophole in the law is still a possibility, if so exploitation on behalf of these people may still continue.
The Home Office and Parliament were contemplating whether to eradicate or tolerate prostitution, a debate that has ranged for many years. The solicitation laws have left areas in which were undeniably divided; history tells us these issues are far from straightforward. The protection of a prostitute in the legal sense has not been equal to tolerating this line of work. The general feeling in the 1920s was that prostitution was neither acceptable nor inevitable, at the same time they did not believe prostitutes should be targeted. Understanding this particular profession has always been met with negative responses, so this attitude has not helped the ladies in question over the many years. This is a good reason to think about the ladies situation, and demand the government does not use the laws to punish the prostitutes.
Over the last 150 years even though attempts have been made to make prostitution more illegal, it still exists today. Third – Party exploits have played their part subjecting women to increased victimisation, forced into commercial sex and abuse is something that has continued to rise. What does the government do? It’s a question between a street crackdown or the rehabilitation and protection towards the women. History shows us the policies and their potential implications; it’s a worrying time for all concerned as to which route the government goes down.
For nearly 2 centuries the prostitution laws have not altered that much, government reports are of little significance, nothing much appears is going to change at this moment in time. Maybe things could change to the benefit of the prostitute, but history shows us reluctance still exists.
London Escorts are not affected by all these issues; they get on with things in their own way. Providing a careful use of words is used along with diplomacy these girls will be okay.
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