The Merseyside hate crime model of policing prostitution leads the country. In these two documentaries for Inside Out, airing on BBC1 in the London and North West regions, writer Ruth Jacobs investigates why crimes against sex trade workers are going unpunished, clearly showing the urgency for the Merseyside model to be made UK wide to prevent more rapes and save lives, taking more rapists and murderers off the streets.
Women in 26 Romilly Street are facing eviction on Wednesday 9 October as a result of a police crackdown... The English Collective of Prostitutes is initiating legal action... Leyla, from Romilly Street says, "I have four children back in Thailand who would not survive without the money I send them. Their lives were turned upside down by the recent floods...” It is believed that the evictions are to make way for a major hotel and luxury flats development.
Sexual and racist abuse and other violence by guards have prompted regular protests, even hunger strikes, by women detained in Yarl’s Wood. The same names of guards having sex with women in their care come up over and again. It appears to be so widespread that it is impossible for the authorities, including the Home Office, not to have known about it until it was publicly exposed. Women have been deported without the alleged rape being investigated – a cover up?...
"Since 1975, the International Prostitutes Collective has been campaigning for the abolition of the prostitution laws which criminalize sex workers and our families, and for economic alternatives and higher benefits and wages. No woman, child or man should be forced by poverty or violence into sex with anyone. We provide information, help and support to individual prostitute women and others who are concerned with sex workers’ human, civil, legal and economic rights."
"We believe Alex deserves this award for his unwavering commitment to NUM, and his fantastic achievements to date. It is also of vital importance that the work of Alex and NUM is now recognised. Sex workers are a minority group who are disproportionately targeted by criminals. For too long the safety of sex workers has not been addressed and this has had terrible consequences for sex workers and wider society. Alex and NUM can save lives."
“Rape, child sexual abuse and exploitation images in social media are not “controversial” and they’re not a joke,” says Glen Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parsons. “They devastate victims and destroy families. It is no answer to my daughter’s memory that Facebook thinks it’s good enough to take the ads off these pages. The pages themselves should be removed."
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge... We The People, Didn’t Like That.
Not making the hate crime approach the national standard for people in prostitution is a hate crime in itself while women are being beaten, raped and murdered as the state looks the other way... If a particular policing approach was known to be achieving a 67% conviction rate for those who rape people in society in general, and yet it was only being used in one part of the country, there would be public uproar.
[I]f every aspect of the Merseyside model was implemented throughout the UK then there would be a sea change. If every area had a specialist ISVA working with sex workers and every police force adopted the hate crime approach then I have no doubt that more sex workers would report crimes and, as a result, more dangerous offenders would be brought to justice. This would be hugely beneficial to the police, to sex workers and, of course, to the wider public.
In Liverpool, over the last ten years, I have worked in a climate and ethos that is progressive in relation to crimes against sex workers, where the police have been committed in increasing confidence amongst sex workers in the police and as part of that introduced the sex work and hate crime policy.