Scotland Yard has been accused of threatening to prosecute women who work in brothels rather than pursue an armed gang of robbers who have been repeatedly targeting premises used for sex work. The row over the way in which crimes are prioritised highlights the confusion surrounding prostitution laws in the UK and the way in which the government’s victims’ code is operated. The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer – who was the director of public prosecutions before he became a Labour MP – has written to the Metropolitan police in support of one of the victims of the armed robbers, who is a constituent of his. Starmer said letters sent by the Met threatening women with prosecution under the 1956 Sexual Offences Act “could make it more difficult to stay in touch with victims of violent crimes and therefore hinder a future prosecution”. One letter left by officers at premises in Enfield, north London, said it was suspected the property was being used as a brothel and that “any female at this address now, who is found at this same address in the future, is very likely to be arrested”. The Met denies there is evidence of connected attacks on… Read full this story
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