New move to criminalise people who pay for sex

NEW plans to tackle prostitution by criminalising pimps, brothel keepers and punters are to be launched in the Scottish Parliament.

Labour MSP Trish Godman, who unsuccessfully attempted to add a prostitution amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill that was passed in the summer, is to launch a consultation tomorrow on a new private members bill, with people able to comment on it until 18 February.

The Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill, focuses on the people who facilitate and purchase sex, while treating the sex worker as a victim.

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Ms Godman said: "Prostitution should be regarded in Scotland as an abuse and an exploitation that will not be tolerated - we must call time on the punters, pimps and brothel keepers. My legislation will challenge the whole acceptance of men buying sex."

Jan Macleod, a spokeswoman for the Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation, said: "Generally speaking, we support this direction and see it as an effective, long-term solution."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We have yet to see the detail of what is being proposed, but ministers will consider the proposals carefully."