So you’re a Queensland sex worker and you send a seemingly innocent text message. No big deal right? Well that’s not the case for a Queensland escort who had her apartment raided by seven police officers.
As initially reported by Benedict Brook of news.com.au, Jaidee thought it was just another standard booking until the client asked her if she ‘had a friend working for me’. When Jaidee said no, the person insisted that she ‘bring a friend’ and that ‘if it was a double he’d pay extra’. Of course, Jaidee asked the man to leave as she felt as if she was not being respected.
As you can imagine Jaidee was shocked to hear the man say that “police were waiting outside”. However the shocking part is how seven police officers raided Jaidee’s premises (and we thought the Bali sex Ban was bad).
Unlawful and impeding our civilian liberties? At first we thought ‘absolutely yes!’ but to our surprise we came across Section 75 of The Prostitution Act 1999 (QLD) which outrageously sets out that a police officer is an exception to prostitution solicitation offices. In other words, a police officer in Queensland can legally entrap a sex worker into agreeing to do a double booking then charge him or her for an offence.
According to Acting Detective Inspector Jason Hindmarsh from the Major and Organised Crime Squad: “A range of investigative techniques are used to enforce this act, including covert policing methodologies. In commencing any criminal prosecution each investigation is assessed on its individual merits, including a decision to assess if it is in the public interest to prosecute.”
We call bullshit Acting Detective Inspector…Firstly, Queensland police have an exemption to solicitor sex workers in Queensland. Secondly, how is raiding Jaidee’s home after she told a man to leave an assessment on individual merits?
As you can imagine, poor Jaidee was scared. Not only did the officers search her bags and cupboards but they dragged her by handcuffs causing bruising – to serve and protect right?
So what’s going on in Queensland? Well in March 2019, Queensland Police commenced Operation Romeo Manoeuvre aimed to “disrupt and dismantle networks profiting from illegal prostitution activities.” Let’s remember the key words here being ‘illegal prostitution activities’.
“Claims by the Prostitution Enforcement task force that they are only targeting the big wigs are farcical,” Janelle Fawkes, the campaign leader of DecrimQLD.
In Queensland, working privily is legal but it is an offence to work in pairs or with the support of another person. There are also a range of strict advertising guidelines. Sex work conducted in a licensed brothel is also legal in Queensland.
Brisbane escorts and sex workers (not working for a brothel or escort agency) are legal. The Prostitution Act 1999 (QLD) does not prevent you from conducting a business.
o describe the sexual services offered (Mayfair Confidential is compliant with all advertiser subscriptions),
o might induce a person to seek employment as a sex worker,
o state, directly or indirectly, that the person’s business provides or is connected with massage services.
So what’s next? Well Queensland has begun its review into prostitution laws, some of the toughest (nonsensical) in Australia. Last month, Police Minister Mark Ryan said the government had asked the Queensland Law Reform Commission to look at the “development of an appropriate regulatory framework for the sex industry”. Let’s hope decriminalisation will be one of the options.
If only Queensland decriminalised sex work industry just like New South Wales then maybe Jaidee wouldn’t have received a six-month suspended jail sentence who’s conviction will impact her for the rest of her life. For example, entry to the US excludes people who have a sex work charge.
In summary, there is no victim if people are happily participating in sex work. Sex work is real work and as such sex workers should have the same safety considerations as anyone. Just be careful in Queensland as to the guidelines and how you go about attracting clients.
To find out more on about the advertising guidelines in Queensland, have a look at the checklist put together by Respect Inc, latest guidelines or the approved form for advertisement which is listed on the Prostitution Licensing Authority’s website. You can also contact someone at RESPECT who has offices in Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane or Gold Coast.
Photo source – Adobe stock