Londonist does not support prostitution, let’s get this straight right away.
But we were pleased to spot this news flash about a Guildford hairdressing Madam having her prison sentence reduced from 18 months to 12 months. Chunxia Bao was very naughty – she made an estimated £200,000 out of her ‘special upstairs salon’, where she employed two prostitutes to administer the old personal touch. Until prostitution is regulated or legalised, running a brothel is a crime, and it is only right that she was apprehended and penalised. But is prison really the place for such offenders?
Many brothels are full of ‘sex slaves’, young girls smuggled into the country and threatened with dire consequences if they refuse to work off their fares – the bastards and pimps behind these networks do need to be rounded up and locked up: they are real criminals.
Madam Bao, on the other hand, was simply employing staff to provide a service. It is not one of which we approve, but it is hardly new, and Londonist doesn’t suppose it is going to go away. The issue of prostitution in our capital needs addressing, not sweeping under the carpet or dispatched to clutter our overcrowded prisons. A fine, heavy donations to charity, some community service – that surely would have been the punishment to fit the crime on this occasion? Hey, even Madam Cyn only did 6 months.
Oh, and some English lessons. The thing that worried Londonist about this whole story the most was the fact that the Madam in question speaks not a word of English. The potential for serious misunderstanding in such proximity to a hairdressing salon makes us shudder. Londonist is too tasteful a blogsite to attempt to spell this out for you.
Piccie courtesy of Robyn Gallagher’s flickr photo stream.