After unthinkingly regurgitating an endless stream of press-releases from the sex industry over the past few years, in the interests of being ‘fair and balanced’, the Guardian has deigned to print a letter that is critical of the sex industry:
On Monday 1 June it becomes a crime to pay for sex in Northern Ireland, but legal to sell it. The rationale? Prostitution is violence against women and a barrier to gender equality – so end the demand, but don’t punish the victims. I agree. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the minority of men who feel entitled to sexually exploit vulnerable women. In 2006 I led Ipswich’s policing response to the tragic murders of five women by a sex buyer. We cracked down on kerb crawlers, diverted women away from the criminal justice system and joined with agencies to support women to exit. It worked. But current prostitution laws prevented us from tackling demand for off-street prostitution. Northern Ireland’s new laws should be extended UK-wide so we make it as difficult as possible for pimps and sex traffickers to operate.
Former detective superintendent, Suffolk Constabulary