After years of unsuccessful attempts to control this sleazy practice, it now looks like the end game, but the devil will be in the drafting of the new law.
New development: Criminalising of phone box sex services cards
For years the authorities have been fighting a running battle with so-called "tart carders" festooning public telephone boxes with increasingly lurid cards. Visible by children, obscuring important information such as the numbers of The Samaritans or Childline, and not giving tourists the best of impressions, the practice has defied all attempts at control. Abortive attacks were made using planning legislation, cutting off the lines of numbers advertised was never going to be easy or popular with the telephone companies, and a more recent "adopt a phone box" initiative smacked of desperation.
What will change:
A new criminal offence will be created of displaying in telephone boxes cards advertising prostitutes’ services, although it will be interesting to see how these terms are all defined, as the increasingly organised elements responsible for tart cards are nothing if not ingenious. Conviction will, it is proposed, lead to a maximum £5000 fine or six months in jail and there will also be powers to extend the law’s ambit to bus shelters and other street furniture if necessary.
Much will depend on whether the Bill in question completes its passage through parliament before a General Election is called, but the Government now appears determined to take effective action, so expect changes within months rather than years.
What happens next:
suitable amendments will be made to the Criminal Justice and Police Bill currently going through Parliament.