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Contact Admin. New Clause 60 — in the House of Commons at 8: Alert me about debates like this. I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time. Speaker for judging my new clause worthy of debate. It would restore to the courts the ability to imprison prostitutes found guilty of persistent soliciting where fines have not been considered an effective deterrent.
Such is the magnitude of the problem in the town of Wolverhampton, part of which I represent, and the other red light centres that have been regularly featured in some horrific television programmes recently that I felt moved to table this, my first ever, new clause.
That surely reflects the gravity of the problem which, I believe, needs to be urgently resolved for the sake of those who live with it on their doorstep.
Had I been called to speak last Thursday evening, I should have expressed my personal fear that, unless the Government took urgent steps to address themselves to the growing problem of street prostitute soliciting and residents living within the same neighbourhood, those directly affected in Wolverhampton would resort to taking the law into their own hands, as people have done in Birmingham in recent months.
It is with great sadness that I have to report that on Friday, by sheer coincidence, that is exactly what happened. One group of residents who suffer particularly from the problem had reached the end of their tether. They called a meeting at which they decided to form their own vice patrols to get rid of the problem themselves. In addition, they threatened to withhold payment of their rates. I am glad to say that swift action by the local police in co-operating with them has resolved the problem temporarily.