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1 The offence by a prostitute of attempting to obtain prospective clients in a street or public place (Street Offences Act 1959 s 1). It is punishable by a fine at level 2 on the standard scale on a first conviction and at level 3 on a subsequent conviction. Any act committed by the prostitute (even smiling provocatively) may constitute soliciting (DPP v Bull [1995] QB 88), but an advertisement inviting men to visit her is not soliciting. “Street” is widely defined to include roads, lanes, bridges, courtyards, alleyways, passages, etc., open to the public, as well as doorways and entrances of houses on the street, and ground adjoining and open to the street. If a prostitute in a private house attracts the attention of men in the street (for example by tapping on the window and inviting them in, or even merely by sitting at the window illuminated by a red light), this may be considered soliciting “in a street”.

2 The offence by a man of persistently accosting a woman in a public place for the purpose of prostitution (see also kerb crawling) or persistently accosting anybody in a public place for immoral purposes. “Persistently” requires either a number of single invitations to different people or more than one invitation to the same person (Sexual Offences Act 2003 s 1–2, 4).

Subjects: Law.

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