Hansard of the Estimates Committee B (Cox)
Thursday 26 June 2008

 2.1 Investigation of Crime

Prostitution in Tasmania
Mr FINCH - Through you, Minister - if I could flesh out a little bit more on the subject of prostitution.  I am wondering if the commissioner could give me some sort of picture of some concerns that have been expressed in the past in respect to prostitution in Tasmania about encouragement of minors into prostitution, firstly, about drug activity within prostitution circles and also reports of violence against those who are involved in prostitution.

Mr JOHNSTON - Madam Chair, I think the answer to that is relatively simple in each case.  We do hear of each of those matters being the subject of allegations from time to time.  As I indicated in response to Mr Dean, where that is brought to our attention we will investigate it.  We have not yet found any evidence of any of the three where it has been brought to our attention.  In addition to that, the intelligence probes assessments that we do from time to time specifically are targeted at the three activity areas that you mentioned and, again, we have not found any evidence of it.  The most recent attendance by a large number of police at an establishment that was believed to be being used for the purposes of prostitution did not identify any young people, did not identify any drugs or drug-taking paraphernalia and no-one that was there made any allegations that they were the victims of violence.  That is part of the issue that we have to deal with in the legislation.