chapter  14
26 Pages

Resolving New Problems with More Legislation

As time progressed the complexity of the social scene increased and the effectiveness of the Street Offences Act was seen to diminish, while at the same time a colourful saga of events flowed from its implementation. The JBET commissioned a small research project into the working of the Act and official concern over the issue of prostitution prompted the setting-up of two more government committees. The penalty of imprisonment was abolished in 1982, and two more Private Members Bills were introduced in an attempt to change the legislation. In contrast to official expectations it seems that the Street Offences Act had exacerbated the difficulties of regulating prostitution, leading to a new set of problems and additional legislation in 1985. The efforts to reform the 1959 Act had highlighted the increasing nuisance of kerb-crawling which, to some extent, had resulted from the scarcity of street prostitutes and their dispersal to lonelier places. But as with previous legislation, the Sexual Offences Act 1985 made the lives of prostitutes even more perilous.