Merseyside Police supports ‘International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers’

The 17th December, 2010 marks the ‘International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers’. In particular on this day, we remember men and women who have been lost through violence and our thoughts are with their families.

Merseyside Police is currently investigating five unsolved murders of sex workers and these women will not be forgotten and the crimes against them are still being investigated.

In 2006, Merseyside Police was the first police force in the country to treat crimes against sex workers as ‘hate crime’.

Since then we have continued to work with support networks both nationally and locally, in particular with the ‘UK Network of Sex Work Projects‘ and with outreach staff and the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor from Armistead (Street) to build trust and confidence amongst members of that community.

The partnership has seen unprecedented benefits in relation to protecting vulnerable people, with increases in conviction rates and some dangerous individuals who would otherwise have posed a significant risk to sex workers, being brought to justice. Indeed, in 2010 alone we have seen ten men convicted of rape and have a number of ongoing cases scheduled for hearings before the courts.

Additionally, to improve the service we provide to victims of sexual violence we have in the past twelve months, introduced the specialist ‘Unity’ team to investigate offences of rape. This is the only co-located joint police and CPS team, dedicated to the investigation of such offences in the country and it’s introduction is very much in line with my aim to improve the service we provide following such incidents. We also work in partnership with the Primary Care Trust, who together with Merseyside Police jointly fund ‘Safe-place Merseyside’ (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) where specially trained staff provide quality care to victims of rape / serious sexual assault as well providing sexual health advice to victims.

Sex work is a challenging issue for some communities and the police, but what is clear is that our duty of ‘public protection’, includes sex workers. People involved in sex work are members of our community they are; daughter’s, mothers, sisters, sons & brothers. Sex workers have the right to protection from violence. We encourage people involved in sex work to come forward and report crimes committed against them. We will take you seriously and treat you with respect.

We will protect those most vulnerable within our community in partnership with other agencies and deliver a proportionate response to the issue.

On the ‘International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers’, I would like to reinforce that Merseyside Police will not tolerate such violence and that every effort will be made to ensure that offenders are tracked down and face the full force of the law.

Anti-Violence against sex workersThe 17th December, 2010 marks the ‘International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers’. In particular on this day, we remember men and women who have been lost through violence and our thoughts are with their families.Merseyside Police is currently investigating five unsolved murders of sex workers and these women will not be forgotten and the crimes against them are still being investigated.In 2006, Merseyside Police was the first police force in the country to treat crimes against sex workers as ‘hate crime’.

Since then we have continued to work with support networks both nationally and locally, in particular with the ‘UK Network of Sex Work Projects’ and with outreach staff and the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor from Armistead (Street) to build trust and confidence amongst members of that community.

The partnership has seen unprecedented benefits in relation to protecting vulnerable people, with increases in conviction rates and some dangerous individuals who would otherwise have posed a significant risk to sex workers, being brought to justice. Indeed, in 2010 alone we have seen ten men convicted of rape and have a number of ongoing cases scheduled for hearings before the courts.

Additionally, to improve the service we provide to victims of sexual violence we have in the past twelve months, introduced the specialist ‘Unity’ team to investigate offences of rape. This is the only co-located joint police and CPS team, dedicated to the investigation of such offences in the country and it’s introduction is very much in line with my aim to improve the service we provide following such incidents. We also work in partnership with the Primary Care Trust, who together with Merseyside Police jointly fund ‘Safe-place Merseyside’ (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) where specially trained staff provide quality care to victims of rape / serious sexual assault as well providing sexual health advice to victims.

Sex work is a challenging issue for some communities and the police, but what is clear is that our duty of ‘public protection’, includes sex workers. People involved in sex work are members of our community they are; daughter’s, mothers, sisters, sons & brothers. Sex workers have the right to protection from violence. We encourage people involved in sex work to come forward and report crimes committed against them. We will take you seriously and treat you with respect.

We will protect those most vulnerable within our community in partnership with other agencies and deliver a proportionate response to the issue.

On the ‘International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers’, I would like to reinforce that Merseyside Police will not tolerate such violence and that every effort will be made to ensure that offenders are tracked down and face the full force of the law.

Published by the Merseyside Police

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