“The West Yorkshire Police Adult Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation policy states it is compliant with both the ACPO guidance and the Home Office review. However, as for treating crimes against people in prostitution as hate crimes – something which the ACPO guidance recommends forces to do (section 4.3.2.) – West Yorkshire Police do not appear to have ever considered this, and they certainly have no plans to consider this in future. The representative I interviewed thought the fact that only one force had adopted the hate crime approach was a supporting reason for not considering this in future. Merseyside Police have taken this approach since 2006 (hence the approach now being commonly referred to as the “Merseyside Model”) and have drastically increased conviction rates for all crimes against sex workers as a result.”
West Yorkshire Police say they have adopted the Association of Chief Police Officers 2011 Guidance for Policing Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation and to have acted on recommendations in the Home Office’s 2011 Review of Effective Practice in Responding to Prostitution, but is this true? An interview and a number of FOI requests show the force is not following the guidance in at least two key areas. There are also issues with data recording and concerns around what messages the police are giving to local communities about ‘solving’ the issue of prostitution. But there is also evidence of best practice engagement with initiatives such as National Ugly Mugs.
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