NUM Wins Award!
Survivors Manchester’s friends, The National Ugly Mugs Scheme (NUM), has won a prestigious Paolo Pertica Award for their amazing work with sex workers and we are so proud of them.
The Paolo Pertica Award, established in 2004 by the European Network of Drugs and Infections Prevention in Prisons (ENDIPP) is an esteemed international award which recognises innovation and outstanding contributions to public health interventions within the criminal justice context, in relation to drug and alcohol users, which can be shown to have a positive impact for both individual offenders and the community in general. The award will be presented at the international City Health Conference 2014 in Amsterdam in November.
Paddy Costall, Director of Knowledge Action Change, which acts as the custodian of the award, said: “The results to date demonstrate clearly how NUM is both innovative and increasingly effective in providing protection and support for a significantly marginalised group, many of whom are dependent drug users. The links that have been made with police services and attempts to tackle well-established, and often ingrained, prejudice and antagonism, are a model for those working in other areas and we hope that the award provides at least some small recognition of this.”
The National Ugly Mugs Scheme (NUM), launched in July 2012 at Manchester Town Hall, supports sex workers when they are victims of crime, alerts them to dangerous individuals who pose a threat to them and works with the police to identify dangerous serial offenders.
Alex Feis-Bryce, NUM Director of Services and Survivors Manchester Trustee, said: “It is a huge honour to win such a well-respected international award as the Paolo Pertica Award. In terms of resources and running costs we are a tiny organisation but this award recognises that we punch well above our weight in terms of impact and outcomes and represent real value for money for the police forces that fund us. Due to the stigma attached to what they do, sex workers are targeted by dangerous offenders and NUM prevents crime, apprehends perpetrators and ultimately saves lives.”
More info about NUM
It is estimated that NUM engages with around 20,000 sex workers in the UK and has resulted in a number of positive outcomes:
• Prevented crime:
The independent evaluation of the NUM pilot found that 16% of sex workers surveyed said they’d avoided specific individuals as a direct result of NUM.
• Built confidence in the police amongst sex workers:
The NUM pilot evaluation found that 63% of sex workers said they were more likely to report incidents to the police as a direct result of NUM.
• Changed attitudes in the police:
NUM delivered police training to around 400 officers warning them about the consequences of enforcement and reinforcing the fact that sex workers have the right to access their protection. 69% of the officers trained said they’d change their practices in some way as a direct result.
• Enhanced the levels of intelligence which exists nationally relating to crimes against sex workers:
Over 800 incidents have been report to NUM but while more than 95% of victims are happy to share anonymously with police only 25% want to make a formal police statement – this demonstrates that NUM is providing crucial intelligence that the police would otherwise know nothing about.
In addition, NUM has resulted in more than fifteen criminal justice outcomes including the recent identification and subsequent sentencing to ten years in prison of a rapist who targeted sex workers in North London. Despite the success of the scheme (originally funded by the Home Office) which has now been recognised internationally they face a constant battle for funding.
For more information on NUM, click here.