Thousands of homeless people in Britain are living on the streets, and it can be tough to get them to the local shelter, experts say.
Here’s what you need to know about where they are and how to help.
What is prostitution?
In the United Kingdom, prostitution is a criminal offence that carries a sentence of up to two years in prison.
Prostitution is a legal profession that allows people to make money by selling sex, usually in exchange for money.
Proposals for sex often come from clients, often strangers.
The law also allows police to seize a person’s property if they are convicted of an offence relating to prostitution.
If someone is found to be in possession of a brothel licence, they can be fined up to £250.
If they are found to have engaged in prostitution, they could face up to three years in jail.
What are the criminal penalties for prostitution?
Prostitutes can face up for up to seven years in custody if convicted.
Prosecution in England and Wales is carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), with the highest sentences handed down in Scotland.
The minimum penalty is six months in prison and a fine of up.
Proscribing prostitution is illegal under the 2003 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, but is often used to prosecute offenders who work in brothels or engage in sexual activity outside of them.
What kind of help is available?
Many charities are offering free support, such as clothing and toiletries, or other essentials such as shelter, a place to stay and a mobile phone.
Some people may be able to get free housing from the council, but they need to be prepared to pay the rent.
The homeless charity Shelter has launched a website, Shelter UK, which allows people in need to contact the organisation to get information about how to get help.
The charity also offers free advice on finding a place of accommodation.
What about sexual violence?
It is not illegal to have sex with a stranger, but it is a crime to engage in or witness sexual assault.
In England and Welsh, it is illegal to engage or be seen to engage with a person who is mentally or physically incapacitated, but this can be used in certain cases.
Sexual violence includes physical, sexual, emotional and mental abuse.
A person can be convicted of sexual assault if they engage in a sexual act with someone they know to be a vulnerable person.
This can be for money, sexual gratification or for sexual gratification.
Some offences include causing a person to engage, and the perpetrator will face up, a maximum of two years imprisonment.
What do I do if I witness a crime?
If you are a witness, call 999, or if you are concerned about someone being harmed, contact your local police.
Sexual offences can also be reported anonymously.
You can also report crimes by filling in a police report form on the Home Office website.
For more information on the Criminal Justice Act, see our page on how to report crime.
What if I’m being harassed?
If a person has been harassed or assaulted in the street, it’s important to act quickly.
The police have resources to help them.
If you see someone acting suspiciously, call them.
Police are also trained to deal with sexual harassment, which can include a physical or verbal assault.
Police can also take people to court if they have committed sexual offences, and can also provide support.
They can also investigate sexual abuse claims.
What should I do after a sexual assault?
If there are injuries, you should seek medical help immediately.
It is important to keep your distance from people.
If anyone has been sexually assaulted, they should get medical help.
If possible, get a taxi, which will help you get home safely.
You may be offered a ride home, but the police may not take you home unless there is evidence of a sexual offence.
If there is an emergency, call the police.
What can you do if you’re sexually assaulted?
The police can offer help in a number of ways.
They may provide information on how best to report sexual offences and how you can contact them, or may refer you to the Sexual Assault Support Centre, which provides free support and information.
If the police decide to refer you for support, they will take you to a Sexual Assault Unit or Sexual Assault Referral Unit, which is a confidential service that offers support and referrals to local agencies that can offer advice, counselling and other support.
Where to go for help Sexual offences in London are often reported anonymously and are dealt with by the Metropolitan Police.
The Sexual Offences Act is the main legal framework that governs the treatment of sexual offences.
The Metropolitan Police are responsible for prosecuting sexual offences in the capital, including the rape and sexual assault of children, the assault of a police officer or other public authority, and other offences.
If your attacker is under 18, you will need to tell them that you are over 18.
The offence may be dealt with in court, so it is important that you report it to the police as soon as possible.