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Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Act 2007

DescriptionCircular to inform recipients that offence provisions of the Prostitution Act come into force on 15 October 2007
Official Print Publication DateSeptember 2007
Website Publication DateSeptember 26, 2007

Criminal Justice Directorate

Criminal Law and Licensing Division

T: 0131-244-4210 F: 0131-244-2623

E: patrick.down@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Circular No JD/14/2007

The Chief Constable

District Court Clerk

LA Chief Executives

Sheriff ClerksA


19 September 2007

Dear Sir/Madam



1. The purpose of this circular is to inform recipients that the offence provisions of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Act 2007 come into force on 15 October 2007.

2. The Act criminalises loitering or soliciting in any public place for the purpose of obtaining the services of someone engaged in prostitution.


3. Section 1 of the Act creates two offences:

  • Soliciting in a relevant place for the purpose of obtaining the services of someone engaged in prostitution, and
  • Loitering in a relevant place in circumstances from which it may reasonably be inferred that the person loitering was doing so for the purpose of obtaining the services of a person engaged in prostitution

4. A relevant place is defined as any public place and any other place to which the public has unrestricted access, whether on payment or otherwise.

5. Section 2 of the Act provides that where a constable reasonably believes that a person is committing, or has committed an offence under Section 1, the constable may arrest that person without warrant.

6. Section 46 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 will continue to apply in relation to soliciting and loitering in a public place by a prostitute (male or female).

Guidance on tackling Street Prostitution

7... We recognise that criminal law alone is not sufficient to tackle the complex causes of street prostitution. Consequently, the Scottish Government has published Guidance for Local Authorities and their Community Planning Partners on tackling all aspects of street prostitution. The Guidance may be accessed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/1099/0051328.pdf The Guidance provides information on developing local strategies to address street prostitution, including enforcement aspects.

8. Copies of the Act are available from www.opsi.gov.uk

9. If you have any queries about this circular please contact me at the above address.

Yours faithfully