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Tackling Prostitution

Prostitution in Glasgow remains a significant issue for the City. Despite a perceived move ‘off street’, the number of women involved in on-street prostitution in the past year is around 300. Glasgow Community and Safety Services takes the view that prostitution is inherently harmful to those involved and therefore should not be tolerated.

Prostitution occurs across Glasgow on a 24/7 basis and as a result it is difficult to gain a full picture of exactly who is involved. Prostitution tends to involve women in their mid 20’s who have experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse or domestic abuse. Most women involved are drug and alcohol dependent and have to become involved in prostitution to fund this habit. A high percentage of women involved are subject to serious violent or sexual attacks by ‘punters’ or other predators. Unfortunately a number of women involved in Glasgow also are responsible for other forms of criminality likely to be linked to the need for funds to pay for a drug addiction.

The GCSS Street Prostitution service offers a proactive and integrated multi agency approach to reduce the prevalence of street prostitution in Glasgow. Through partnership with Strathclyde Police, Glasgow Addiction Services and Glasgow City Council, the Routes Out service provides the following elements to the service:

Drop In – the service facilitates an evening drop in service 4 nights per week in the City Centre. This drop in is for women involved in prostitution and provides them the opportunity to meet with staff to discuss alternatives to being involved that night whilst also offering a harm reduction service.

Outreach – Staff are deployed within the City Centre, Govanhill and Glasgow Green areas up to 7 nights per week to identify and engage with women involved in street prostitution. The teams are often deployed to patrol with GCSS Community Enforcement Officers and Strathclyde Police Officers

Case Management – All women identified by the service are taken on as a ‘case’ and offered proactive support to help them exit prostitution. This support involves visits to police cells following arrest, support at court and crisis support for addiction and accommodation issues. The service facilitates a multi agency case management meeting where all key partners meet monthly to discuss the most vulnerable women and those at highest risk of reoffending.