Risking the Dangers: Reconsidering Commercial Sex in ‘Permissive Britain’
The establishment of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in 1954 reconfirmed that the controversies surrounding the best way to respond to the problems of prostitution remained after many decades of attempts at repression. Both the Victorian speakers and writers who campaigned for the Criminal Law Amendment Act and those who discussed prostitution in 1950s Britain had their own diverse understandings of its causes, opinions about its worst features, and solutions for its control and repression. Despite the lack of consensus, the outcome of the Wolfenden Committee was surprisingly clear-cut: almost all of its recommendations about street prostitution appeared in the Street Offences Act of 1959, which marked the most important legislative change in the way Great Britain dealt with prostitution since the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885.
KeywordsSexual Offence Probation Officer Ordinary Citizen Moral Panic Police Commissioner
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