Laura Lee Blog | Sex Workers – Know Your Rights!

With two cases of prosecuting women working together for safety going through the courts and the continued “welfare visits” under Operation Lingle, it has never been more important to know your rights as a sex worker in Scotland. These rights apply to both native sex workers and those who tour Scotland, too. In conjunction with SCOT-PEP and National Ugly Mugs, here are your rights.
Sexy young woman in lingerie lying.

NO WARRANT, NO ENTRY

If the police arrive on your doorstep unannounced and they do not have a warrant you do not have to let them in. The police can only enter premises without a warrant if there is urgency, for example, a life is in danger or if valuable evidence will be destroyed. If the police try and argue that they do have a right to enter without a warrant ask them on what basis and make a note of this. If the police do not have a warrant then you have the right to close the door on them.

The police are not entitled to repeatedly attend at your address when you have made it clear that you do not want to speak to them. If this happens to you make a complaint to Police Scotland or contact SCOT-PEP for support.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS

You do not have to answer their questions. Unless the police suspect you have committed or witnessed a crime, you do not have to answer any questions. Politely refuse. If the police suspect you have committed or witnessed a crime, ask them what crime they suspect you of committing before answering any of their questions.

The only questions you have to answer if suspected of having committed or witnessed a crime are: your name, address, date and place of birth and nationality. You do not have to answer any other questions put to you by the police. If you are a migrant you do not have to answer any questions about your immigration status beyond your nationality.

NO RIGHT TO FILM, PHOTOGRAPH OR TAKE FINGER PRINTS

If the police have not formally detained you then they have no right to film or photograph you. If they try and do this politely refuse . If the police have not formally detained you then they have no right to take fingerprints from you. If they try and do this politely refuse.
Confident in her perfect body. Full length rear view of beautiful young woman in lingerie standing near the window

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY

The police cannot take any items of your property without a warrant. The police do not have the right to look through your phone without a warrant. Do not give them your phone.

HOLD THE POLICE TO ACCOUNT

Always ask the police officers for their names and badge numbers, they should provide these if asked. You are entitled to film police officers if they come into your house but you should inform them that you are recording them.

If you believe that the police hold information about you, for example, your mobile number or address, you can request details of this information by doing a freedom of information request.

RIGHTS ON DETENTION

If the police suspect you of committing a crime then they can detain you. They must tell you why they are detaining you and explain your rights. If you are detained you do not have to answer any questions except your name, address, date/place of birth and nationality.

If detained you have the right to access a solicitor as soon as you are detained. You also have the right to inform one other person of your detention. You can be detained for a maximum of 24 hours. If the police want to detain you any longer then they need permission from a judge.

To download your own copy of this charter of rights, visit the SCOT-PEP website.

Laura Lee

Laura Lee

Irish mother, writer, animal lover, perpetual student and sex workers' rights campaigner.
Laura Lee

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