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Please refresh the page and retry. B rothels are being given the green light by police as a senior officer has suggested that they should not be raided if sex workers are safe. Officers are turning a blind eye and avoiding "crackdowns" on brothels, which are said to be ineffective, as long as the prostitutes are there through their own free will.
One brothel owner, himself a former police officer, says that he is aware that he could be arrested but he is so confident that he will not be that he has even called police himself about two of the women working in his premises. It is not illegal to buy and sell sex, but some activities associated with it are criminalised including running a brothel or to coercing women into selling sex. Officers will now consider a range of factors, including the safety of those sex workers involved, before deciding on whether prosecution is the most appropriate response to an offence.
A former detective, named only as Karl, now owns a brothel in central London and told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme that he operates in the full knowledge of the police and they leave him alone as long as the women are safe. The issue of the legal response to prostitution is a hotly debated topic.
Whilst some argue for a zero tolerance approach arguing it is inherently exploitative others say it is a matter of personal choice for people who need protecting by police. It is widely recognised that those who are working off the street are safer.
As part of their approach to brothels some forces categorise them in risk categories and the give consideration to "the use of legislation relating to the management of a brothel as well as measures to address any related anti social behaviour". It is difficult to rebuild trust and ultimately reduces the amount of intelligence submitted to the police and puts sex workers at greater risk.