Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Prostitution and nuisance

New Zealand legalized prostitution back in 2003; outcomes have been decent.

And as reminder that you don't need to outlaw prostitution to effectively regulate the actual harms from prostitution - the public nuisance aspect of street prostitution - the Christchurch police recently targeted those harms directly.
Christchurch police made 14 arrests over the weekend in an operation targeting street prostitutes, clients and their associates in the Manchester St area.
Acting central area commander Inspector Al Stewart said the operation was in response to public concerns.
"There is always an element attached to prostitution that causes public concern, whether it is their general activity itself or the behaviour of some of their minders or clients," said Stewart.
"Most of the arrests were for people wanted on warrants, while a few were for behavioural and dishonesty matters.''
Police would continue to actively focus on the area over the next few weeks, Stewart said.
"While the services being offered on Manchester Street are legal, some of the behaviour, which can be intimidating and offensive in nature, by associates of the prostitutes is not,'' he said.
Prostitutes have been working from the northern end of Manchester St, between Bealey Ave and Edgeware Rd, since the February earthquake left their usual haunt, the street's central city blocks, in the red-zone cordon.
I'd not be particularly thrilled if somebody decided to start selling services, prostitution or otherwise, on the sidewalk in front of my house. But existing nuisance regulations suffice.

Similarly, we don't need prostitution to be illegal to stop sex workers from offering services in exchange for Chicken McNuggets at the McDonald's drive through [HT: @S8mB]; effective use of existing trespass laws ought to suffice.

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