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Police have been criticised for warning sex workers in Swansea that they could be prosecuted in a clampdown. Campaigners argued this would put the women in greater danger. It added that it was both angered and saddened that a woman could face prosecution due to a lack of engagement with the SWAN project, a charity it helps to run alongside Swansea Neighbourhood Policing Team and others, which seeks to redirect women away from sex work and provide them with support.
Around 60 women currently receive support from the project. It is not illegal for individuals to buy or sell sex from each other in the UK but soliciting and sex workers working together as a group are illegal. Niki Adams, a spokesperson for the English Collective of Prostitutes ECP campaign group, said she had also heard from two women in their network who had been working in Swansea.
Women are out there because poverty has increased — particularly in that area. People are really struggling. A lot of women are going out there to literally get the money for the next meal.
She said single mums had been particularly hit by homelessness. It is likely to increase attacks because women will end up taking risks and going with clients they would have ly avoided and working in isolated areas and not feeling able to come forward and report violent men. The campaigner said mothers trying to feed their children were in need of more extensive, far-changing support than solely counselling or rehabilitation. They argue sex workers often have to choose between keeping safe and possible arrest, or avoiding a criminal record and putting themselves in danger.
The organisation ly told The Independent that increasing s of public sector workers were being forced to turn to sex work due to austerity measures and welfare cuts.
It said more women in public-sector roles were doing sex work to top up their income due to employers making no allowances for the fact they have children. The warning came as the organisation released a report comparing sex work with other jobs commonly done by women.
It found sex workers earn ificantly more per hour than women working in other jobs — including those in public sector positions such as nurses and midwives. Neither is it acceptable for sex acts to be carried out in public. In instances where sex workers continually refuse to engage with the wide range of support on offer and flout the law, one option we will consider is enforcement.
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