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Policing and Crime Act 2009

Section 16 Amendment to offence of loitering etc for the purposes of prostitution

77.This section amends the offence of loitering or soliciting for the purposes of prostitution, as set out in section 1 of the Street Offences Act 1959 (“the 1959 Act”). Under section 1 of the 1959 Act it was an offence for a “common prostitute” (whether male or female) to loiter or solicit in a street or public place for the purpose of prostitution.

78.Subsection (2) removes the term “common prostitute” from section 1 of the 1959 Act, but inserts the word “persistently” so that the offence is committed only if the person acts persistently.

79.Persistent conduct is defined by the amendments made by subsection (3) as conduct which takes place on two or more occasions in any three month period.

80.The amendments made by subsection (3)(b) mean that this offence is committed only by those offering services as a prostitute, not by those receiving such services. (Those receiving services may however be committing offences under section 19 or 20 of the Act.)

81.Subsection (4) repeals section 2 of the 1959 Act, which allows a person cautioned for an offence under section 1 of that Act to apply to a magistrates’ court to have the caution removed from the police record.

82.Subsection (5) provides that in deciding whether a person’s conduct is persistent any conduct that took place before the commencement of this section will be disregarded.

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