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Police leave predators to have child prostitutes

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Baldock: Police leave predators to have child prostitutes

After tabling a 203,000-signature petition in Parliament today, United Future's Larry Baldock slammed the Government for failing to honour its pledge to police child prostitution which has blown-out under the Prostitution Reform Act, with one in five Auckland street workers now underage.

In tackling Police Minister George Hawkins, who had pledged police resourcing enforce the protection of children under the Act, Mr Baldock said there had been virtually no policing of child prostitution.

"The recently released Prostitution Law Review Committee report stated that in Auckland city alone there are 243 businesses of prostitution and 360 street workers, 20 percent of whom are underage, yet there is only one police officer working in this area, and able to offer just 45% of their time," Mr Baldock said.

"If the Government considers one cop giving less than 20 hours a week is protecting youngsters in prostitution, or in any way dealing with it, then they are perpetrating a particularly sorry deception on some very vulnerable young people," he said.

"We have had fewer than 10 prosecutions for buying sex from teenagers since the Prostitution Act came just over 18 months ago - we've probably had a million speeding tickets given out in that time," he said.

"We now have kids of 13 or 14 selling themselves for as little as $5 a time. It is a national disgrace and direct result of this failed legislation and non-existent policing," he said.

Mr Baldock and fellow United Future MP Gordon Copeland tabled the petition calling for the Prostitution Reform Act to be repealed.

ENDS

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