Kerb crawler

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A kerb crawler (or curb crawler) is a person who drives around areas known for street prostitution soliciting prostitutes for sexual activity. The act is known as "kerb crawling" because the person will typically drive very slowly along the kerbside.

Where prostitution is illegal, kerb crawlers are widely regarded as a public nuisance: they help keep street prostitutes in business in red-light districts and often solicit pedestrians who are not prostitutes for sex. As a result, kerb-crawling is illegal in many jurisdictions.

Sting operations in which undercover police wait for kerb crawlers to proposition them are a common method for tackling kerb crawling.[1] Kerb crawling is illegal in Canada,[2] the United Kingdom,[3] the United States,[4] South Korea[5] and India.[6] Police may also collect licence-plate numbers of vehicles that appear to be kerb crawling and may contact their registered owners.

Following the recommendations of the 1984 Criminal Law Revision Committee report Prostitution on the Street, the United Kingdom's Sexual Offences Act 1985 introduced an offence of kerb crawling to persistently solicit women for the purposes of prostitution.[7][8] The Policing and Crime Act 2009[9] modified the Sexual Offences Act 2003[10] to redefine the offence and remove the requirement of "persistence". Offenders can be disqualified from driving and have their cars impounded.[3] Kerb Crawler Rehabilitation Programmes (KCRP) have been introduced in some areas such as Leeds, however these programmes are criticised by some[11]

John schools[edit]

A John school is a form of educational intervention aimed at clients of prostitutes, who are informally known as 'johns' in North America. John schools are usually a diversion program for people - almost exclusively men - arrested for soliciting the services of a prostitute, or another related offense. This often acts as an alternative to criminal prosecutions. However, in some jurisdictions, courts may sentence men to attend a john school program as a condition of probation.

Whether the John school is a diversion program or a sentencing condition, the client will often pay a fee to enroll. The fee frequently covers the cost of the program and sometimes contributes to programs to aid prostitutes, or community projects within red light districts. John schools often last for one day. Their focus is often on the experiences and harms of prostitution, such as the violence associated with prostitution, the sexually transmitted disease risks of prostitution, and the effects of prostitution on families and communities.[12][13]


  1. ^ Hill, Amelia (15 December 2002). "The policewomen who pose as prostitutes to trap kerb crawlers". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Prostitution laws around the world". Global News. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Prostitution and Exploitation of Prostitution". Crown Prosecution Service. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  4. ^ "US Federal and State Prostitution Laws and Related Punishments". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ Cook, Ian. "Research Projects". Imagining Urban Futures. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Prostitution in India and it's legal analysis". Lawyers Club India. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Sexual Offences Act 1985" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2018. Section 1
  8. ^ Hubbard, Phil; Scoular, Jane (2010). "Making the vulnerable more vulnerable? The contradictions of British street prostitution policy". In Canter, D; Ioannou, M; Youngs, D (eds.). Safer Sex in the City: The Experience and Management of Street Prostitution. Ashgate. pp. 135–153. doi:10.1177/1057567710373119. ISBN 978-0754626152.
  9. ^ "Policing and Crime Act 2009". Retrieved 29 November 2018. Section 19
  10. ^ "Sexual Offences Act 2003". Retrieved 29 November 2018. Section 51A
  11. ^ Campbell, Rosie; Storr, Merl (March 2001). "Challenging the Kerb Crawler Rehabilitation Programme". Feminist Review. 67 (1): 94–108. doi:10.1080/01417780122701.
  12. ^ "John School Helps Break the Cycle of Prostitution" Archived 2017-02-04 at the Wayback Machine by Sharon Boddy, Peace and Environment News, November 1998.
  13. ^ "School for Johns" Archived 2007-09-18 at the Wayback Machine by Aina Hunter, Village Voice, May 10, 2005.