1999 - 2006



The first ‘John School’ in the UK for men picked up for kerb crawling is established in Leeds. Anyone charged can pay to attend the course rather than face a conviction. Similar schemes are operating now in Hull and Norwich.




Projects offering explicit ‘’exit’ routes, including Real Choices in Manchester, Way Out in Hull, and Reclaim Lives in South Yorkshire increase in number.




The Criminal Justice and Police Act criminalises the placing of advertisements relating to prostitution in public telephone kiosks, and makes kerb-crawling an arrestable offence.


Increased targeting of kerb-crawlers in Manchester and Coventry. The ‘tolerance zone’ in Edinburgh is closed following protest by residents.




The prostitution Toleration Zones (Scotland) Bill, introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Margo MacDonald, is overwhelming rejected.


Barnado’s calls for better protection for children abused in prostitution with is Stolen Childhood campaign.


The GMB Union makes mainstream trade union membership available to sex workers. The sex workers’ branch calls for the decriminalisation of prostitution, including brothel keeping and pimping.


The UK Network of Sex Work Projects is founded. In 2005, a lottery grant enables establishment of an international office in Manchester.




The Sexual Offences Act is passed, differentiating between adult and child prostitution, and introducing a suite of new offences with respect to minors and trafficking for sexual exploitation.




The Home Office publishes Paying the Price – a consultation paper on prostitution seeking to prompt a public debate. The first page asks if we can imagine a world without prostitution.




Following consultation a policy on prostitution is published which focuses on seeking to decrease both street prostitution and demand. Press reporting suggests journalists had anticipated moves towards toleration and regulation.


2006 - 2011 to be updated.