Given the informal nature of much sex work, it can be nigh on impossible to prove which money is which.“Anything that falls into the ‘illegal activity’ realm and is successfully prosecuted is subject to POCA proceedings,” Richardson says.Now the court has more discretion and under certain circumstances can make an assumption, based on the evidence presented to them, that suggest the asset is a result of criminal activity.” However, Alex Feis-Bryce, CEO of National Ugly Mugs, a scheme that provides safety alerts for an estimated 20,000 sex workers, believes that police pursuit of sex workers’ assets is taking the place of protecting their safety.
I’m not young anymore and don’t know how I’ll manage. My family found out what job I was doing and that has caused a lot of upset.” Janice’s story isn’t unique.
Last year, Kent Police confiscated nearly £40,000 from in Folkestone.
“The police knew us and our flat and knew it was run well,” Janice tells Broadly. “It was a terrible shock when they turned against me,” she says.
Under British law, the flats she worked from would be classed as brothels by virtue of the fact that more than one sex worker was based there. During the raid, £13,000 in money and jewelry was confiscated by the police under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
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Janice is 60 years old and, for many years, sold sex.According to Janice, both had been given to her by her mother.However, as her mum was dead and she had no paper evidence of the gift, they were seized.Between its implementation and 2013, more than £12 million has been confiscated by the police relating to brothels, prostitution, pornography, and pimps.Of this, the million and the Crown Prosecution Service £1.78 million.“The National Policing Sex Work guidelines explicitly state that police should prioritize sex worker safety and only pursue enforcement as a last resort if serious organised crime is taking place or sex workers are being subjected to harm.