A German city of Bonn has begun collecting taxes from street prostitutes, using a similar payment method to a parking meter.
The machine charges prostitutes six euros (£5.30) a night for soliciting custom on the street. Under the new meter system, which went into service over the weekend, street prostitutes must purchase tickets from the machine to work between the hours of 20:15. and 06:00.
Leaflets explaining the system, translated into several languages, were handed out to prostitutes in the city.
Street prostitution in Bonn has an unusual degree of organisation. Prostitutes tend to congregate on one particular road, where the meter machine has been installed. Wooden garages have been built by the council nearby, where customers can park their cars and have sex. The garages come with alarms in case of an altercation inside.
Monika Frömbgen, a spokeswoman for the city, explained that it was only fair for streetwalkers to pay tax. She said: “The women in the bordellos and the sauna clubs also pay the tax, and so should those working on the streets.”
The ticketing system is the latest step in Bonn's drive to increase tax revenue as it wrestles with financial problems. The council has also introduced a "sex tax". Dortmund has a similar system, but it requires prostitutes to buy tickets from petrol stations.