Is prostitution legal in England? Or perhaps it’s not? What is the law that determinates the regulations for prostitution? Those are the questions we will try to answer in the following article.
You need to be aware that prostitution is an activity of a grey market. Prostitution understood as sexual services exchanged for money is legal across the whole of Great Britain. The legal approach to this issue differs in Northern Ireland only, since prostitution is illegal there.
Despite prostitution being legal in the territory of Great Britain, there’s still a variety of illegal acts, indirectly connected to prostitution. The forbidden acts are, for example:
- Scouting clients on the city streets;
- Advertising on phone boxes;
Mind that all the forms of public attempts to convince the client to participate are considered illegal. This law had changed in 2010 when prostitutes used to commit a public soliciting/loitering more than once a month. Currently, only one such case in three months is enough. Punishments can reach up to 1 000 pounds and are followed by criminal proceedings.
Even though a lot of indirect activities are illegal, law enforcement isn’t the highest priority in those cases. A proof can be, for instance, the existence of "safety zones", in which street prostitution is well tolerated. Such a solution helps to keep prostitution within restricted areas, at the same time increasing the safety. Among cities interested in creating such a zone there are for example Liverpool and Leeds. Moreover, in a lot of cities like Manchester, London or Cardiff you can see a number of suspicious massage saloons. It's because of a low level of law enforcement.