In a depressing tale of the police taking their apparent role as the state’s bully far too seriously, they have decided to “name and shame” a number of prostitutes. In case you were wondering, the laws around prostitution are mind-bogglingly incomprehensible, but prostitution is not illegal. These women have not been convicted of a single crime, yet still their details are paraded around police websites as though they had.
Six street-based sex workers in Newham, east London, were named on the Metropolitan police website. Police posted their photos, full names and dates of birth.
In a second case, two Polish women who were selling sex from their home in Aldgate, east London, were raided by City of London police as part of Operation Monaco.
Operation Monaco was launched in May 2009 but police have admitted that just one charge of controlling a prostitute for gain has been made, as well as 52 charges for placing cards in phone boxes advertising sexual services.
So, after more than a year, Operation Monaco has netted one possible criminal, and because he or she was only listed as charged, it’s apparent that it’s not even managed a conviction yet. In more than a year. Clearly, this is valuable police resource and money that is being very, very well spent.
Especially since being a prostitute is not a crime, and a voluntary financial transaction for services rendered between consenting adults is no business of anyone else, especially not the police.
I think it’s time for the ladies of the night to strike back and provide the full names of any Met Police or, indeed, any other sanctimonious busybody, who happens to make use of these services.
It’s only fair.