Police forces throughout Britain were yesterday given the go-ahead to use anti-social behaviour orders to ban prostitutes from residential streets. In a landmark case, two High Court judges overturned a district judge's refusal to grant such an order against a prostitute operating in Preston.
The ruling against Lisa Potter, 32, means that police will be able to move prostitutes on from certain "problem areas". If they refuse, they can be arrested. Using the Crime and Disorder Act, he claimed that she had acted in an anti-social manner "likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress".
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District judge Alan Lloyd Jones was told that the problems caused by local prostitutes had multiplied with the advent of the internet. Unnamed prostitutes frequently abandoned used condoms and hypodermic syringes in such locations as the grounds of a mosque and a health centre. The judge refused to grant the order against Miss Potter, saying there was no evidence that her own behaviour had caused harassment, alarm or distress to others.
He also said that although a police officer had roxanne wilde escort evidence about lone females feeling intimidated by the presence of prostitutes, no such women had given evidence in person.
Yesterday, Lord Justice Auld and Mr Justice Goldring said the district judge had been wrong to disregard evidence of the aggravated conduct of other prostitutes when considering Miss Potter's case. His conclusion that the evidence did not prove the offence to the necessary standard was protsitutes and unreasonable and therefore erroneous in law".
During a recent hearing, Jason Bear, appearing for the chief constable, outlined the problems experienced by the people of Deepdale because of prostitution. Mr Bear described how, although full sex was more likely to take place in cars, other acts often occurred in small alleyways, behind skips or between buildings.
Lone females were finding it an uncomfortable and frightening experience to use the streets, because of men looking for sex or local residents becoming hostile after mistaking them for maidenhead escort polish. Women staff at a doctors' surgery faced difficulties persuading their husbands to pick them up from work in case prostitutes got into their cars uninvited.
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The police found that members of lbackpool public were reluctant to give evidence for fear of reprisals. To require them to do so was to impose "an unnecessary and illogical burden" on applications by the police.
Mr Bear said of Miss Potter: "If she had loitered or entertainment escorts on a desert island, then it could not fairly be said that her conduct had caused or was likely to have caused harassment, alarm or distress. The judges agreed with the chief constable and granted him a judicial review.
His lawyers did not press for Miss Potter to pay legal costs, saying she was serving a prison sentence for supplying heroin locxtion undercover police officers. A lawyer involved in the case said: "This ruling will provide chief constables with a very easy way of excluding prostitutes from areas where they are soliciting, provided that these are recognised 'problem areas'.