Julie Bindel argues convincingly that legalising prostitution is not the best way to prevent women and girls from abuse and exploitation by pimps (The case against legalising prostitution, 11 October). However, history has demonstrated that abolition does not prevent this either. The solution may be to set up state-run brothels throughout the UK.
The management could ensure that all the sex workers were over 18 and consenting; sex workers could receive help with any alcohol, drug or other problems; and counselling and advice in areas such as jobs, benefits and housing could be offered to those who wished to move away from sex work. They would be working in a supervised environment, to greatly increase safety, and any violent users could be banned and, of course, arrested and prosecuted.
It’s not actually necessary for an organisation to be state run for Plod to do his job. In fact, given that it’s already true that prostitution itself is legal in the UK sex workers do indeed call in Plod at times.
But then think of state run – rather than state licensed – brothels. The plethora of anti-ageism, anti-sexism, anti-racism, anti-fat shaming, anti-lookism that will descend…..to say nothing of the state setting of prices.