Sixteen: ASBOs and working women: a new revolving door?


This chapter places the use of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in policing prostitution into the broader context of the regulation of prostitution in the United Kingdom. It argues that ASBOs are not at odds with recent reforms to the regulation of prostitution — despite first impressions — and are not particularly innovative or new measures used by criminal justice agencies in the policing and regulation of prostitution. It also contends that ASBOs represent a broader shift in the way prostitution is regulated towards harsher, deeper, targeted state-sponsored, coercive and punitive regulation of some of the most excluded, marginalised and impoverished individuals in prostitution — street sex workers. First, the chapter places ASBOs in the context of the regulatory system as put in place by the Wolfenden Report and which has been in operation for the last sixty years. It then considers the recommendations set out in the Coordinated Strategy. The Wolfenden Committee recommended the decriminalisation of male homosexuality and the partial criminalisation of prostitution.

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