N8 PRP Updated National Police Prostitution Strategy and Learning Event

Monday 8th February, University of Leeds

The Leeds Social Science Institute at the University of Leeds is funding a learning event with the N8 Policing Research Partnership to launch the revised and updated Police Prostitution Strategy from the National Chief Police Council.

The event will take place on 8th February 2016 in Leeds and will focus on good practice in policing and protection initiatives with sex workers. Starting the day, ACC Nicky Holland, the lead for Prostitution at the National Crime Prevention Council will outline what is new in the approach and the overall ethos. This will be followed by good practice examples from Chief Constable Christopher  Bowen from West Yorkshire Police speaking about the innovative managed area operating in Leeds, and a presentation from London Metropolitan Police on dealing sexual assault cases. The afternoon showcases new and innovative work using net reach tools and the National Ugly Mugs will report on the new safety technologies which are currently underdeveloped.

The programme is packed with  experts and cutting edge approaches to the rights and protection of sex workers. For those interested in attending please contact Teela Sanders on t.l.m.sanders@leeds.ac.uk

For more information, please see the N8 Policing Research Partnership website

4th Postgraduate Sex Work Conference

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 9am – 5pm in the Social Sciences Building, Room 12.21/25, University of Leeds

Dr Teela Sanders will be hosting the 4th Postgraduate Sex Work Conference as part of the Sex Work Research Hub networking activities and supported by members of the Yorkshire Academic Sex Work Consortium.

The one day conference is open to students at any stage of their doctoral studies, to share ideas and findings in a respectful and supportive environment. Delegates are welcome to learn from new and innovative research activities and engage in current debate and discussions.

More details are available on the Yorkshire Academic Sex Work Consortium website.

Register to attend the conference here…

ECP Evidence Symposium, 3rd November 2015

ECP Evidence Gathering Symposium on Decriminalisation

Violence against sex workers & issues for internet based sex workers

Dr Teela Sanders, Laura Connelly, Alex Feis-Bryce and Rosie Campbell

Two recent datasets have been collected:

  1. an analysis of 961 Ugly Mug reports from July 2012 to July 2014 and
  2. the largest UK survey (n=240) to date on internet based sex workers examining their working conditions and job satisfaction.

This paper will pull out the key information from these datasets to evidence the following:

  • levels of violence against sex workers, making comparisons between sectors
  • working histories of internet based sex workers
  • sex work histories
  • experiences of crime and safety at work
  • job satisfaction
  • sex workers opinions on how to improve safety, highlight the unanimous disregard for criminalisation as a sound policy

Whilst this data is largely based on female British based sex workers in the UK there will be reflections on the data for male sex workers and other groups. Overall we hope to showcase some of the most detailed quantitative data on violence against sex workers in the UK and the dominance of indoor / internet based sex work, to contribute to the campaign for a safer sex working environment that decriminalisation offers.


Another member of the Beyond the Gaze Team, Dr Jane Pitcher will also be presenting at the symposium. She will be presenting a paper based on her MRes and PhD research.

Centre for Criminological Research Seminar Series, 4th November 2015

‘The Arguments for the Decriminalisation of Sex Work: Violence, Hate Crime and Rights’

Teela Sanders & Rosie Campbell, University of Sheffield, Centre for Criminological Research Seminar Series.


In August 2015 Amnesty International adopted the policy position of decriminalisation for sex work after considerable consultation. Currently MSP Jean Urquhart has proposed a Bill to decriminalise prostitution in Scotland. With this as the political and policy backdrop, this paper reports on an analysis of 961 crime reports (mainly violence) to the pioneering and innovative National Ugly Mug scheme from July 2012 to July 2014 by sex workers and projects across the UK.

We explore specifically the hate crime reports and discuss how the ‘hate crime approach’ to sex work has been developed through what has come to be known as the Merseyside model. Finally, we use this evidence about levels of violence, ‘perceived vulnerability’ and the hate crime model to argue for a move towards decriminalisation of sex work in the UK to put an end to criminalisation and the precarious position of sex workers.



Criminology seminar series Leeds Beckett University, 17th November 2015

Teela Sanders and Rosie Campbell speaking on the hate crime model at the Leeds Beckett Criminological Seminar Series.

Violence against sex workers is a reality well known across research and practitioner disciplines and is a constant concern regarding the vulnerability of certain groups of sex workers. With at least 153 sex workers murdered in the UK since 2000, this issue should be a priority in terms of policing interventions, investigations, intelligence gathering and preventative partnership work. Perhaps equally important, evidence currently available points to the inadequacies of the law which criminalises sex work in the UK, further creating the conditions where violence can be generated and tolerated.

This paper brings together three crucial strands of argument to set out why decriminalisation is a safer and more rights based model of regulation. First, we present an analysis of the most up-to-date information on the types and characteristics of crimes against sex workers (from reports to the National Ugly Mugs scheme). Second, we explore specifically the hate crime reports and discuss how the ‘hate crime approach’ to sex work is not an alternative to decriminalisation but fits into and wholly supports a model of decriminalisation. Finally, we use this evidence about levels of violence and the hate crime model to argue for decriminalisation of sex work in the UK to put an end to the precarious position of sex workers in society.

North East Sex Work Forum, Regional Learning Day 19th November 2015

Rosie Campbell keynote at North East Sex Work Forum, Regional Learning Day.

Flagging up new trends in sex work in the UK, this seminar will share some initial findings on internet based sex work and the remaining questions regarding working practices, safety and regulation. The event will be used to encourage practitioners who work with sex workers on the frontline to get involved in the practitioner forum and discuss how sex work in the North East can be represented in the Beyond the Gaze project.


Online Survey: Sex Work Support Project

In order to consult widely amongst sex work support projects, Beyond the Gaze with will be carrying out with NUM (UKNSWP) a survey of  sex work projects in Scotland, Wales and England. This will be carried out in Jan/Feb 2016 and aims to;

  • Identify how projects are currently reaching out to internet based sex workers and the services they are providing
  • Identifying good practice
  • Consult projects about what would help projects improve their services for internet based sex workers

Findings from the survey will inform a set of online good practice guidance for working with internet based sex work project