§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the maximum sentence for causing or encouraging the prostitution of girls under the age of 16 years; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Michael
[holding answer 29 April 1998]The maximum penalty for causing or encouraging the prostitution of girls under 16 is two years imprisonment. The Government are sympathetic to the case for increasing the maximum penalty for those who cause child prostitution, which needs to be considered in the context of the whole range of offences and penalties which deal with prostitution and related offences rather than in isolation.