§ 8. Mr. Thomas Cox
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to introduce amendments to the Street Offences Act 1959.
§ Mr. Carlisle
As I said in reply to a Question by the hon. Member on 22nd January, a review of the law on vagrancy and street offences is being carried out by the Departments concerned. My right hon. Friend has no proposals for legislation before that review has been completed.—[Vol. 849, c. 28.]
§ Mr. Cox
Is not the Minister of State aware that that kind of reply is of no help to my constituents? Why should perfectly respectable women and teenage girls be continually molested and abused by car drivers who come into parts of my constituency trying to pick up prostitutes? The Act has been in force for 14 years. Surely the time has now come when the Minister could introduce an amendment which would allow the police to prosecute motorists who are seeking prostitutes. It 1683 happens in my area and in many other areas of the country, and we are fed up with the inactivity of the Minister in trying to solve this problem.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman says that my reply is of no help to his constituents. I should have thought that they would be glad to hear that the Government have set up a working party to review the Street Offences Act so as to look particularly at this point. The committee was set up in September 1971 and should shortly be completing its review, but no steps or legislation in advance of that review can be taken.
It was because of the problems the hon. Gentleman mentioned that we set up this review.