London sex workers win legal challenge against police decision to shut down their flats
Two sex workers have claimed victory against Scotland Yard after they overturned a decision to shut down their flats after early morning police raids in Soho.
The flats had been shut for a minimum of three months after police argued that the women working there were being controlled, or incited to commit prostitution. It was one of 18 addresses targeted by officers in a crackdown on a notorious crime hotspot in London’s red light district.
However, the women said they were working of their own free will and it was safer to work where there was CCTV cameras in the building and where maids helped to vet customers. The women warned they would be at greater risk from harm if they had to work elsewhere or pick up trade on the streets.
The case is one of three brought by six sex workers over the controversial raids in December last year after a police undercover operation that was said to have revealed links to crimes including trafficking and rape.
Separately, two women lost their cases earlier this week after a judge said that they were being "controlled" and cited the “bizarre” nature that they paid rents by leaving cash in a microwave for collection by unknown people.
But in the latest ruling on Thursday, a judge said the two women used the flats “by arrangement with other sex workers at mutually convenient and agreed times. That does not constitute control.”
Niki Adams, of the English Collective of Prostitutes, said: “These closures should never have come to court. The police misled the public and claimed that they were needed to prevent rape and trafficking. No victims of trafficking were found; instead the police threw women out of the relative safety of their flats.”
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more