United Kingdom Escorts, British Escorts from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Escorting and buying sexual services in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. May I make a few comments about the present laws. This is my opinion and if you require accurate advice, then please contact the services of a legal representative.
Selling sex is legal in all four countries. There are laws regarding how you sell sex.
You are not allowed to work with another sex worker. If you do, then you or both could be prosecuted for keeping a brothel. This does happen, and happens in many areas of London and Scotland. If you have a bad client, or some gang who comes and robs you, then you have to think carefully about contacting the police when you are working with others. You could be prosecuted. Some times the police instead of prosecuting will invoke a closure order on the premises barring any access to it for months.
You are not allowed to solicit for clients on the street.
It is perfectly legal to work for an escort agency. Those running the escort agency are on the border of the law. They are not allowed to control sex workers for gain. Proving an agency owner is not controlling is where the law becomes grey.
You must be over eighteen to sell sex.
There is also one other way sexworkers are persecuted. If you are from an EU country working as a sex worker and don't have employment or are not in education, you could be expelled from the country. Selling sex is not considered work by the UK Government.
It is legal to buy sex in three of the four countries. The only country where it is iillegal to buy sex is Northern Ireland. In NI you can be fined if the police discover you have paid for sex. The law has been in place several years, and as far as I know only one person has been prosecuted (this was written in late 2017). The police do not consider this to be a priority, and are instead working with sex workers in NI to help protect them.
It is also illegal to buy sex from someone who has been coerced into selling sex. Even if you feel the sex worker was willing and you saw no reason that she was being forced, you are still liable. This is called strict liability. This law is relevant to England and Wales.
You are committing an offence when buying sex from someone under 18.
It is ilegal to pick a woman up from the street for sex. This is called kerb crawling.
In Scotland, England and Wales, as a client visiting a brothel, you are not breaking the law. If the brothel is raided and the sex workers are arrested, you are still free to leave. Don't talk to the police, because anything you say will be used to persecute and prosecute the sex workers. Don't admit to paying for sex, it will put their freedom in jeopardy.
Different regions of the UK implement the laws in different ways. Some police forces do allow brothels and working flats to operate. It makes it safer for the sex workers, and makes it easier for the police to keep an eye on trafficking because they know where sex is being sold. In Leeds they even have an area called Holbeck were street work is allowed to operate and sex workers and clients are not arrested. Other regions of the UK have a zero tolerence of sex work and attempt in anyway to disrupt it. It is all at the whim of the Chief Police Constable and the Crime Commisioners.