A major crackdown on kerbcrawlers has been welcomed by a Birmingham MP whose constituency is plagued by prostitutes and their customers.
Gisela Stuart (Lab) said the sex trade had made life a "nightmare" for residents in part of her Edgbaston constituency.
But the Government's plans to reduce prostitution, announced yesterday, were under fire from her Conservative rival.
Deidre Alden, an Edgbaston councillor, criticised plans to allow up to three prostitutes to work legally in brothels.
It is already legal for a single prostitute to sell sex from a building, as opposed to walking the streets. The Home Office announced it was changing the law to allow "two or three individuals" to work together, for safety.
The Government and councils will encourage police forces to deploy more officers to catch kerb-crawlers, and greater enforcement of penalties such as removal of driving licences from repeat offenders.
Court cases will be publicised so offenders are "named and shamed".
There will also be warning signs, CCTV and extra street lighting in areas where kerbcrawlers go.
Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart said allowing small brothels would improve the safety of prostitutes.
Officially, brothels will remain illegal but a property used by two or three women will not be classed as one.
She said: "At the moment, if there are two women in a flat and one is selling sex, that is a brothel.
"I am changing that, because it can't be right that someone in that situation faces a seven-year sentence like a drug dealer or people-trafficker. But the laws against anti-social behaviour still apply.
"If you cause a nuisance for a neighbourhood, you can still be dealt with."
She added: "Gisela Stuart has spoken to me a number of times about the importance of dealing with kerb-crawlers who make life a misery for people in Edgbaston.
"I have also spoken to people in Balsall Heath, where there has been some progress.
"We have to tackle all forms of exploitation of women and reduce the supply of prostitutes, by ensuring children are not groomed to become prostitutes.
"We also need to offer ways for people to get out of prostitution, for example through treatment for drug addiction.
"And we need to tackle demand by focusing on the men who are demanding it."
Coun Alden said: "Two or three people could move next door and set up as a brothel, and it would be perfectly legal.
"But it would be intolerable for the ordinary residents in the neighbouring flat or house.
"I can understand what the Government is thinking, but they need to consider the practical implications more carefully."
Ms Stuart said concern about brothels was misplaced.
"This is about reducing the number of murders. It is not a substitute for cutting down on prostitution and targeting customers."
She added: "There are two areas in my constituency where this is a problem; one is around Pershore Road and Balsall Heath, and the other off the Hagley Road and around Rotten Park Road.
"For the local community, it is a nightmare.
"I hope it will focus on preventing women from going into prostitution in the first place as well as making it clear that using prostitutes is something unacceptable."
Children's Society spokeswoman Kathy Evans welcomed the Government's emphasis on preventing children getting drawn into the sex trade.
Ana Lopez, president of the sex workers' branch of the GMB, said: "The majority of sex workers, including those who work in prostitution, are not typical of the drug addict victims that everyone loves to hate."