I think any steps that are taken that enhance the police response to attacks on vulnerable groups such as sex workers are important... The Merseyside model aims to build trust and confidence amongst sex workers to report when they are attacked, which allows the police to identify and arrest dangerous people who pose a threat to the whole of society.
This joined-up approach prioritising protection over enforcement enables women in the sex trade to feel safe reporting crimes committed against them. Because trusting relationships with the police have been developed, reporting of crimes has dramatically increased. Women in prostitution in Merseyside know when they call the police they will be treated as any other victim of crime...
"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."
[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.