Policy Press

Living and working in areas of street sex work

From conflict to coexistence

By Jane Pitcher, Rosie Campbell, Phil Hubbard, Maggie O'Neill and Jane Scoular


May 15, 2006

Page count

48 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Living and working in areas of street sex work

There has been considerable recent policy debate on street sex work in local neighbourhoods and responses to community concerns. This report examines how residential areas characterised as areas of female street sex work are shared by different sections of the community and considers community and policy responses to street sex work.

The report draws on research with sex workers, residents and agency staff in five case study areas in England and Scotland. It considers community responses to street sex work in local neighbourhoods and the varying degrees of tolerance and engagement. Exploring whether residential streets can serve as shared spaces where residents and sex workers may coexist, the authors reflect on the scope for improving relations between residents and street sex workers, through initiatives such as consultation, mediation and awareness-raising.

Living and working in areas of street sex work considers both the effectiveness of responses such as enforcement and the use of anti-social behaviour legislation; and the need for integrated initiatives to address community conflicts and manage the street scene.

Jane Pitcher is an independent social researcher and Honorary Research Fellow at Staffordshire University, UK. She has considerable research experience in criminal justice, community safety and social policy, and has undertaken a number of research studies relating to sex work and local service provision.

Rosie Campbell is Co-ordinator of Armistead Street and Portside (North Liverpool PCT) sex work support projects in Liverpool. Prior to taking up this post she carried out applied policy research on sex work for 10 years. She is Chair of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects.

Phil Hubbard is Reader in Urban Social Geography at Loughborough University, UK. He has written widely on sexuality and space, and is author of 'People and Place: the extraordinary geographies of everyday life'.

Maggie O'Neill is Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy, Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. She has been involved in researching and publishing on sex work and communities affected by street sex work since 1990 and is an expert in participatory action research.

Jane Scoular is Senior Lecturer at the Law School, University of Strathclyde, UK. Her research is concerned with the intersection of theories of gender and law. Recent publications and studies focus on the subjects of informal justice, domestic violence and prostitution.

Introduction; Sex work, communities and policy responses in the case study areas; Community responses to street sex work; Organisational responses to street sex work; Conclusions and policy implications.

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