National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a charity supported by most PCCs throughout the country and works closely with sex workers to support them when they have been the victim of crime.
By supporting NUM in Dorset, the PCC and the Safer Dorset Fund are not only helping to lower the number of attacks against sex workers but also increasing the chances of finding dangerous serial offenders who pose a risk to both sex workers and the wider community. NUM also helps to build the relationship between the police and sex workers and therefore can help increase the rate of reporting; this is crucial to ensure police are able to keep the people of Dorset safe.
Studies have shown that sex workers are often targeted by dangerous offenders but are far less likely than non sex workers to actually report it. NUM alone have found that they have dealt with over 2000 incidents in the last three years but only 25% of the victims were actually willing to make a formal report to the police. This demonstrates a huge gap in intelligence and can lead to offenders being free to commit further crimes.
NUM is a project that aims to provide this crucial information to police forces across the UK, whilst ensuring the victim can remain completely anonymous. It works as an alternate route to reporting, which sex workers often consider far preferable to reporting directly to the police. If the worker gives explicit permission, information about dangerous individuals can be anonymously shared with police and then distributed to partner organisations and other sex workers about the dangerous individuals who pose a threat to them in Dorset. NUM will also support the sex worker if they do choose to make a formal report, as well as supporting police investigations and providing expert advice to police engaging with sex workers.
FInd out more about National Ugly Mugs and the work they do.