London, December 24 (ANI): New laws designed to crackdown on prostitution in Britain may lead cops to close up to 1,200 brothels and prosecute 300 men a year.
The Home Office has arrived at these figures after assessing how much impact the proposed law may have.
The Policing and Crime Reduction Bill, due to be debated by MPs next year, allows officers to close brothels and leave them sealed for up to three months.
Police are currently allowed to stage a raid and make arrests, but cannot close down the establishment.
Estimates by the Home Office suggest that about 780 to 1,200 closure orders may be served each year, reports the Independent.
The Bill proposes to make it an offence to pay for sex with a prostitute controlled for gain.
It has been designed to target men by threatening them with court action if they use prostitutes who have been trafficked, are controlled by pimps, or are working for drug dealers.
According to the paper, a six-month police operation last year identified 800 UK brothels where such women were working as had been trafficked into the UK.
Officials estimate that 300 people a year may be prosecuted, once the Bill is approved.
Critics of the Bill, however, feel that it would drive prostitution further underground and leave women more vulnerable to abuse. (ANI)