A new proposal for the legal age of consent to be postcode-determined is expected to become law in a few months in Birmingham B19, but may face problems with wider adoption.
Faced with the level of teenage pregnancy in Birmingham, and B19 in particular, right-leaning think tank Advocacy for Families (AF), working closely with Birmingham City Council and the Department of Justice, will be piloting a twelve month experiment to raise the age of consent in B19 to nineteen. this proposal appears to be gaining momentum, and should be adopted in the next few months.
It is being considered for implementation on a twelve-month trial basis, but ideas of wider application of the method are already meeting resistance. A spokesman for AF confirmed that the proposal is being actively considered and if it gets through a meeting of the full meeting of Birmingham city Council on May 3rd, should be in force by mid-year. Birmingham Council’s spokesperson Flo Lo Pira confirmed the idea: “Yes, absolutely. “Advocacy for Families’ proposal is on the front-burner, this one is definitely a game-changer. We’re looking at a technical amendment to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 and a full council meeting and it’s done.”
We asked Soweto Kinch, who knows the area well and produced the album to react to the implications A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block .He commented: “We just couldn’t work out why Advocacy for Families had been asking my publicist for copies of the old album, now it’s clear. They could also be dealing some more deadly sins, so AF should be definitely trying the new one.”
The proposal for a postcode-related age of consent will also be considered in London but is already meeting resistance. In N16, widely regarded as a trend-setting borough, most locals thought the difference would hardly be noticed. “Sixteen?” said a young hipster. “There’s nothing I hadn’t tried way before sixteen. That’s just dumb.” Another resident, a young woman, also in skinny jeans, oversized glasses, a vibrant check shirt and a nondescript woollen hat – though without the mossy beard – was similarly underwhelmed.
We did try to speak to wider cross-section of the population, but finding a talkative person in N16 who isn’t a hipster was proving harder than expected. Eventually, we tracked down the driver of the 149 bus to Edmonton, who, by his shiny trousers, clean-shaven face and grey hair, clearly wasn’t a local. He seemed to like the idea.
“So, you’re saying, the age of consent would be set by the number of the postcode?”
“Yes,” we confirmed. “What’s your postcode?”
“N18,” he said. He scratched his head. “Yeah, I mean, 18 seems about right. Good idea,” he said, before closing his hydraulic doors with a swoosh and driving off.
Meanwhile, in Thamesmead, SE28, the announcement was greeted with widespread dismay. “Have you seen this area?” asked a young man out shopping with his girlfriend, who by the looks of it, would both be abstaining from carnal union for another eleven years. “What the hell else is there to do in Thamesmead on a wet Tuesday night in February? Seriously, we’ll become the murder capital of London if this goes ahead. If you can’t have sex by fourteen at the latest you’ll go mad.”
(Additional reporting by Matthew Wright)