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Vice inquiry call rejected; PROSTITUTION: Probe over massage parlours plea.

Byline: By Neil Elkes

A CALL for a citywide inquiry into massage parlours and prostitution has been turned down, for the time being.

City licensing chiefs refused calls for an investigation into the number of brothels which are licensed as massage parlours.

It comes a month after they refused to licence Soho 95, in Soho Hill, as a massage parlour after owner Linda Miller admitted it was a front for a brothel.

The madam claimed that the majority of licensed parlours were operating as houses of ill repute.

Licensing committee member Coun Nigel Dawkins (Con, Bournville) called for an inquiry, held in public, to investigate the extent of the problem and find out how many premises licensed as massage parlours are in fact brothels so they can be closed down.

He said: "This is a big question - how we come to licence these places, how we enforce these licenses and the police, what is their policy towards brothels?"

He added that a full public inquiry was needed.

But licensing committee chairman Coun David Osborne stopped short of granting an official inquiry. He instead asked the council's Prostitution Panel, part of the Social Care and Health department, to present a report on the extent of problem to the next licensing committee.

He said: "The Prostitution Panel may have the answers to our questions. There is no point in us carrying out another investigation if the panel is already doing the work."

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CAPTION(S):

QUESTIONS... Nigel Dawkins.' CLAIMS... massage parlour owner Linda Miller.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 21, 2006
Words:292
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